Top Gun: Maverick Cast Miles Teller As Goose’s Son, But Tom Cruise Insisted The Guy Who Lost Gig Get A Role Too

I’m sure just getting the chance to try out for a big franchise flick with a built-in audience like Top Gun: Maverick is a big deal, regardless of what level of fame you’ve achieved in Hollywood. While Miles Teller is more of a known name than Glen Powell -- though Powell has had notable gigs in Hidden Figures and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous -- both were initially up for the role of Goose’s son in the Top Gun sequel. While Teller ultimately landed the role, it turns out that Tom Cruise himself insisted Powell be in the movie too. 

When Top Gun: Maverick was casting, it was a known fact that Powell had auditioned alongside Miles Teller for the role of Goose’s son, AKA Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw. Not only did he audition, he was really the other name that Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were really considering for the role. Given we know Teller waffled on whether or not to say yes for a while, this seems particularly germane. Ultimately though, after a series of auditions at Cruise’s home in Clearwater, Florida, Teller got the gig. But that wasn’t the end of the story. 

In fact, tucked into a THR report about Powell’s casting is a short bit mentioning that Tom Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer and the studios producing the movie really loved Glen Powell. In fact, Tom Cruise insisted that he not only land a role in Maverick, but also worked with the creative team on expanding the actor’s role in the film. 

Who Is Glen Powell Playing In Top Gun: Maverick?

In the years since the popular sequel filmed, we have learned a few details about Glen Powell’s upcoming role in the franchise. For example, we know he is playing a character named Hangman. More intriguingly, however, are some fan theories rolling around about who Hangman actually is. In fact, there’s a faction of people speculating that Glen Powell looks enough like Tom Cruise himself that there could be some wild twist to the role of Hangman-- like maybe he’s Maverick’s son.

Admittedly, the evidence surrounding this mostly has to do with Powell’s overall look, the knowledge that the role was expanded, and the fact that the film production has kept details about the character under wraps. Still, no matter who the actor ultimately ends up playing or how big the role is, I think it’s safe to say that it’s super cool that Maverick totally reworked the film to incorporate him thanks to Tom Cruise realizing he would be a great asset in the movie. 

One thing we do know for sure? Instead of a volleyball scene, the guys will blow off some steam with football this time around, Powell included. 

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of seeing the opening scene of Top Gun: Maverick at Cinema-Con and I can honestly say there’s no upcoming movie I’m more excited about seeing in full. (It was neck-and-neck with Dune for a while, but Warner Bros. finally got that one out for audiences.) If the first 15 minutes is any indication, it’s going to be a crowd pleaser and a rollicking ride and I can’t wait for it to finally hit theaters on May 27, 202 2. Yet, it would have all looked very different without that casting influence from Cruise himself. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.