After more than three decades, Tom Cruise's Maverick is almost back in the sequel to Top Gun that fans have wanted since the 1980s. We know that the new film will have some significant plot connections to the original box office hit, and Jon Hamm is teasing yet another way that Top Gun: Maverick will call back to the first movie, and how that connection will cause conflict for Tom Cruise's character.
In a recent interview with Men's Journal, Jon Hamm gave us just enough information about how his character fits into Top Gun: Maverick, while still keeping things vague enough for the mystery to remain intact. Hamm reveals that his character will have some sort of connection to another authority figure from the first Top Gun and it seems that Lt. Pete Mitchell is still having some issues with authority figures. According to Hamm...
Yeah, it’s sort of tangentially related [to Viper]. It’s not so much of a father figure, the way Viper was to Tom. He’s air boss of the fighter wing. He has a lot of authority and responsibility. When that rubs up against Maverick, there’s friction, as you would guess. I provide the friction.
The interview brings up one rumor that Hamm's character is actually related to Viper, and while Jon Hamm seems to be side-stepping any sort of direct connection, there does seem to be, at the very least, a thematic one. In the original Top Gun Viper was played by Tom Skerritt and he was the man overseeing all the pilots in the Top Gun program. He and Maverick have a contentious relationship at first, but eventually Viper does take on a sort of father figure role.
Jon Hamm isn't exactly old enough to take on a father figure role for Tom Cruise, so it's no shock that the relationship between the two characters won't be exactly the same. But it seems the conflict that we saw in the first movie will be replicated to some degree in the sequel. What's unclear is if the relationship between Jon Hamm's character and Viper is purely thematic or if there will be some sort of actual storyline connection between them. Hamm doesn't entirely discount the idea.
There will be plenty of other direct connections between Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick even if this is not one of them. We know that Miles Teller will be playing the son of Maverick's deceased partner, Goose. We also know that Val Kilmer's Iceman will make an appearance in the film, though that appearance is being kept under wraps, so exactly how Iceman will appear is unknown.
Unfortunately, like so many other films, we will have to continue waiting to see how this all comes together. Originally scheduled for this past summer, Top Gun: Maverick was pushed back to December, before being pushed again to July of 2021. Hopefully, we will all be able to see it next summer.