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Top Gun: Maverick Miles Teller looking somber during a briefing

Should someone mention the title of director Tony Scott’s ‘80s action-drama Top Gun in polite conversation, “the need for speed” almost immediately comes to mind. The film’s legacy has banked heavily on Tom Cruise’s bravado, and the slick period-appropriate storytelling that’s kept it at a legendary status to this day. However, there’s one hidden asset that the film’s sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, seems keen to cash in on. The first big hint towards that assumption comes from one of the film’s stars, Miles Teller, who has seen the film and feels like it delivers a pretty emotional payoff fans will really dig.

As he spoke with Men’s Journal, Teller got into the experience he had making Top Gun: Maverick, alongside director Joseph Kosinski and star Tom Cruise. A huge part of that emotional enterprise is due to the fact that his character, Lt. Bradley Bradshaw, is the son of Anthony Edwards’ dearly departed character LTJG Nick Bradshaw. You’d know him better by his call sign, “Goose,” and his unfortunate fate leads to the following emotional thread, according to Miles Teller:

Playing Goose’s kid and getting to continue that storyline that was established in such a powerful way all those years ago, there is a lot of history there. I think when audiences realize the character I play is that tiny kid they saw in the original, it is going to hit. I was able to see it a couple of weeks ago. The movie just blew me away, and my wife said, ‘That might be the best film I have ever seen.’ She was crying multiple times.

While the plot of Top Gun: Maverick is still mostly under wraps, just looking at the trailers for the twice-delayed sequel show some pretty heated moments between Lt. Bradshaw and some of his scene partners. Flying under the call sign “Rooster,” Bradley probably holds a grudge against Tom Cruise’s Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, as he flew with Goose during that fatal exercise gone wrong in the original Top Gun.

The death of Goose is a Top Gun moment that’s just as indelible as the lighter, more sensational moments that made it an ‘80s classic. But rather than pave over those happenings as smoothly as possible, Miles Teller makes it sound like Top Gun: Maverick will use that tragedy as an important catalyst for the future of the top tier franchise. Looks like the need for speed will be coupled with the need for emotional closure, which is a hell of a flex even in 2020.

Top Gun: Maverick takes to the skies on July 2, 2021; just a handful of months before Mission: Impossible 7 gives the world another dose of Tom Cruise on November 19, 2021. Don’t forget, you can keep up with the fates of which films will buzz the tower and which ones are writing release dates the near future can’t cash. That’s all possible thanks to the 2021 release schedule, which you can take a look at here.

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