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Why Top Gun 3 Can’t Be a Tom Cruise Movie

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Top Gun: Maverick may be Tom Cruise’s biggest hit, but the sequel’s ending means Top Gun 3 can no longer keep up with the franchise’s beloved hero.

Although Top Gun: Maverick is the most successful Tom Cruise movie of all time, there’s no getting around the fact that Top Gun 3 can’t afford to be another vehicle for the star – if the sequel story is to succeed. After a 36-year wait between franchise installments, it’s fair to say that expectations were high for the never-ending delay. Top Gun: Maverick. To the surprise of many critics and even some fans, the long-awaited sequel managed to exceed expectations, with Top Gun: Maverick earning over $1 billion at the box office while still managing to wow critics.

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At the heart of the success of Top Gun: Maverick was the film’s star, Tom Cruise. Like the original Superior gunthe sequel was a star vehicle for the charismatic screen veteran, and Cruise’s performance was one of Top Gun: Maverickthe most beloved elements, adding pathos and maturity to the original film’s cocksure antihero. Unfortunately, the Superior gun the franchise’s next outing can’t rely on the star as much.

Related: How Much Money Top Gun: Maverick Made (& Why)

Although Superior gun and Top Gun: Maverick were both Cruise’s films through and through, the latter’s closing scenes make it impossible for Top Gun 3 follow this process. Top Gun: Maverick gave Cruise’s character a well-deserved happy ending, so for him to go through another character arc, Maverick would have to unlearn all of the life lessons he internalized in the sequel. It would be too dark a twist for the sequel to recover from and ruin the franchise’s escapist tone. Top Gun 3 might make Cruise’s character a mentor, but Maverick can no longer be the focus of the show since the character has finally earned his retirement and deserves a chance to pass his role on to the next generation.


How Top Gun: Maverick Recreated Top Gun History


Differences between Top Gun and Maverick

Both Superior gun the films open with Cruise’s character on a low before his big adventure, only to end with the franchise hero being celebrated by his co-workers and embracing his love interest, after learning vital life lessons through a mission dangerous. Both Superior gun the films focus on Maverick’s love life, personal struggles, and professional battles while dismissing everyone around him. This makes Top Gun: Maverickthe story arc of Superior gun, as Maverick needed to learn the same lessons again decades after his initial stint in the titular flight school. Maverick succeeding in his risky trial, despite Cyclone’s orders to the contrary, proved that the character still had the same rebellious streak that got him into trouble in the original. Top Gun. Likewise, his ongoing (if heated) rivalry with Iceman and Charlie’s absence from the sequel’s storyline proved that he still had a lot to do to mature.


Why Top Gun: The Maverick Ending Is Changing The Franchise


Top Gun vs. Top Gun Maverick

Whereas Top Gun: Maverick was able to recreate Superior gunEssentially, the sequel’s ending makes another film in the franchise starring Cruise’s tireless antihero impossible. Seeing Maverick escape certain death was thrilling, but the sequel story came with an expiration date. Undoing the romanticism of Charlie and Maverick Superior gun the ending was understandable, but Top Gun 3 breaking up Maverick and Penny would just be petty. Killing Iceman was necessary, but Top Gun 3 no longer has any legacy characters the sequel can return to. Top Gun: Maverick made the natural replacement for Miles Teller’s Rooster Cruise, but that means the character can’t continue to work alongside his young pupil as he ages. In place, Top Gun 3 gotta let maverick play something like iceman Top Gun: Maverick role, which means he won’t be the lead role in the next movie.


Why Top Gun 3 Can’t Be Tom Cruise’s Movie


Top Gun Maverick Reviews Are So Positive

For Maverick to have a compelling arc in Top Gun 3, he would have to defy all the odds and succeed again. However, to have the odds against him again, he would have to lose Penny’s support, Rooster’s respect, and everything he’s earned in Top Gun: Maverick. This twist wouldn’t be worth the redemptive storyline the sequel would then stage and ruining Maverick’s happy ending would miss the point of the game. Superior gun series. The Superior gun movies are underdog stories of escape rather than realistic portrayals of life in the navy, meaning a version of Top Gun 3 which opens with Maverick having wasted all he earned in Top Gun: Maverick would be far too depressing for this inherently silly series. In place, Top Gun 3 should put Rooster, Bagman, Phoenix or another younger recruit as Maverick and show the viewer his journey while Cruise plays a supporting role.


Related: Top Gun: Maverick’s Dying Dream Theory Misses The Franchise

Will Top Gun 3 Switching Stars hurt its prospects?


Miles Teller Big Fireballs Top Gun Maverick

There’s no denying that removing Cruise from the pilot’s seat will make Top Gun 3 a harder sell than Top Gun: Maverick. Netflix’s recent sci-fi satire spider head bring Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller and director Joseph Kosinski reunited for a smart, fast-paced thriller, but without Cruise’s name appearing on the cast list, the film didn’t have as much of an impact as Top Gun: Maverick. However, the fact that Cruise cannot be the main character in Top Gun 3 Doesn’t mean he can’t play a major role in film history yet, and the star can still be a big part of Top Gun 3 provided the sequel doesn’t undo all of his character development to make his role easier. More than the presence of Cruise, which made Top Gun: Maverick a success was the film’s strong script, tight direction, and tense action, none of which required Cruise to be at the center of the proceedings.


What role can Tom Cruise play in Top Gun 3?


Top Gun 3 Miles Teller Updates Potential Sequel

While the Impossible mission the franchise keeps Cruise as an action hero, Top Gun 3 may see the star transition more into a mentoring role. That doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t play a role in the most important action scenes, but ideally the biggest heroic moments would go to the show’s newest stars. Top Gun: Maverick already subtly implemented this change when Rooster and later Bagman both saved Maverick’s life during the film’s final mission, with the two young replacements for the title character proving they had what it took to be Top Gun 3Maverick/Iceman equivalents. Training these two competitive and arrogant hotheads to be more professional is a full-time job in itself, and one that would be a perfect role for Top Gun 3‘s Maverick since the character has already seen so much of himself and his late friend Iceman in the duo during Top Gun: Maverick.

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