Jennifer Connelly - Winter's Tale

Top Gun 2, aka Top Gun: Maverick, may have just found its new leading lady: Jennifer Connelly. Connelly is in early talks to join Tom Cruise and Miles Teller in the sequel to the 1986 high-flying action flick.

More Jennifer Connelly in movies is never a bad thing, so let’s all remain optimistic about the actress joining the Top Gun 2 cast. THR is reporting that Connelly is in talks to play the female lead in the film, described as “a single mother who runs a local bar near the Navy base.” Could this mean Connelly might be playing Tom Cruise’s new love interest? Perhaps.

Earlier this year, Top Gun: Maverick co-writer Justin Marks confirmed that Kelly McGillis‘ character from the first film, Charlie, would likely not come back. At the same time, Marks also said they were going to make sure any future love interest for Cruise’s character Maverick would be age-appropriate, rather than having Cruise wooing an actress nearly half his age. “Without getting into details, that was something that was important to everyone to avoid, to find something new,” Marks said. “I think [Producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer] would kill me if I told any specific details.”

Connelly and Cruise are close in age – Cruise is 9 years her senior – so it’s very possible this is what’s happening here. In the first film, Cruise’s character visited several bars near a Navy base, resulting in this scene:

Top Gun Loving Feeling Scene

At the same time, Cruise has also entered an interesting phase of his career where he’s realized he doesn’t need to necessarily have a “love interest” in his films. Both Edge of Tomorrow and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation teamed him up with kick-ass women – Emily Blunt in Edge, Rebecca Ferguson in Rogue – and neither of the films spent much time trying to develop a romance subplot. Connelly is a fantastic actress, and I’d love for her to have a significant role in this film, and not just be someone that Tom Cruise is trying to get into bed.

Top Gun: Maverick will have Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell mentoring Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s old buddy Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), who died in the first film. Val Kilmer‘s character Iceman will also be returning.  Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in Oblivion, is helming, with a script by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ashley Edward Miller, and Zack Stentz.

Top Gun: Maverick opens July 12, 2019.

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