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Top Gun: These 10 actors almost played Maverick instead of Tom Cruise

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Tom Cruise in Maverick: What is indisputably obvious today wasn’t necessarily in 1985-1986, when “Top Gun” was being prepared. Check out 10 rising stars from the 1980s who almost took over Pete Mitchell’s F-14.

In 1986, Tom Cruise flew high with Top Gun. Noted in Taps, Outsiders, Risky Business or Legend in the early 1980s, what was just a rising star has become THE new face of American cinema thanks to the success of Tony Scott’s feature film, which has raised over $ 350 million worldwide. for a budget of only $ 15 million.

At the time, even before filming, Cruise was aware of this Top Gun it is an important step “superior” even in his career. He is thus involved in the production process, with the approval of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and participates in all the preparatory meetings, from set design to costumes through photography. And the scenario, of course, that he develops with his producers for a month.

“I saw – cinematically – what they were about to do”recalls the comedian in the Top Gun Maverick press kit. “But the script wasn’t great. It didn’t work. There wasn’t a real character with Maverick. It was a pretty vague universe, not very defined (…) So we started talking about this script and I said it for me. it was a film about competition, about honor, about friendship, about sacrifice, about stakes and about mistakes, and about coming to terms with those mistakes “.

Convinced by the project, the actor also has two requirements: to shoot with a real F-14 and fly with the Blue Angels, the Navy’s demonstration team that offers air shows in the United States. “It was a great flight. For the first time, I heard the different levels of G-force. You can read, know G-force, but you don’t understand it until you learn it. He hasn’t lived. It’s been a great flight. . They let me do what I wanted – and I continued until about 5G. And what Jerry doesn’t know, because I kept them going for months to know if I was going to be in the movie or not, is that I was already convinced by then that. I would have done it “.

The rest is legend, and continued thirty-six years later Top Gun Maverick, acclaimed by the public (it is the best film of the post-COVID era according to the viewers of AlloCiné) and very profitable at the box office ($ 400 million across the Atlantic, more than $ 800 million worldwide). Yet, as is always the case in Hollywood, many comedians have been considered, even approached, for the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. A look back at ten actors who almost flew away Tom Cruise.

Michael J. Fox


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Name of Zeus! What if after traveling in a DeLorean in Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox had boarded for the flight deck of Top Gun ? The actor was therefore part of the shortlist for the role of Maverick for a certain period, but this could not materialize. It must be said that between Teen Wolf, The secret of my success and above all the Holy Family series that mobilized him from 1982 to 1989, his agenda was full. Note that he will also have the “right” to his war film with Brian De Palma’s Outrages (1989) against … Sean Penn, once also in the running for the Maverick player.

Emilia Estevez


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Emeritus member of the Brat Pack, a group of young comedians from the 1980s (of which Tom Cruise will be a secondary member), Emilio Estevez has, as his brother Charlie Sheenalmost signed Top Gun. Unselected, it nevertheless marked the 1980s with John Hughes’ Breakfast Club, Close Surveillance and especially the western Young Guns (where Tom Cruise made a small uncredited appearance).

Rob Lowe


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Also a member of the Brat Pack, Rob Lowe revealed many years later that he didn’t get along very well with him Tom Cruise on the set of Losers, finding it too competitive. He was one of the actors considered for the role of Maverick, and eventually stepped on Youngblood’s ice when Cruise took to the skies in his F-14.

Matthew Broderick


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Unforgettable Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick is one of the faces to follow in the 80s when WarGames or Ladyhawke launched his career in an excellent way. Logical considering that he appears in the list of actors in the race to squeeze in the controls of Top Gun.

Matteo Modine


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Now known to Netflix subscribers thanks to his role in Stranger Things, Matthew Modine was in the spotlight at the time thanks to his role in Birdy, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1985. Refusing to engage in “pro-army” projects, refuses Top Gun for the particular benefit of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Nicola Cage


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Partner of Matthew Modine a little birdNicolas Cage is also one of Hollywood’s rising stars at the time of preparation Top Gun. Instead, she will play Peggy Sue Got Married, alongside a certain Jim Carrey, also considered for the role of Maverick.

patrick swayze


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He had met a very young man Tom Cruise in the gang movie Losers by Francis Ford Coppola: Patrick Swayze was one of his “rivals” for the lead role of Top Gun. Probably too busy with the historic North and South series, the actor will shine in another cult and emblematic film of the 80s, with an equally memorable soundtrack, Dirty Dancing.

Scott Baio


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In the early 1980s, Scott Baio distinguished himself mainly in television, in the role of Chachi Arcola in the series Happy Days and in the lead role of the series Charles s’en charge. He said he turned down the role of Maverick Top Gun.

John Travolta


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If the “yellow dogs” of Top Gun (crew members who direct Navy pilots on aircraft carriers) often dance on the flight deck after a successful launch, almost learning lessons from a master on the subject: the name of John Travolta was so mentioned by the production of the time, then fired because it is considered non-bankable (the years of Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive are over).

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