Top Gun: These 10 actors failed to play Maverick instead of Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Maverick: what is indisputable proof today was not strong in 1985-1986, when he was preparing “Top Gun”. Throwback to 10 rising stars of the 80s who nearly took the controls of Pete Mitchell’s F-14.

In 1986, Tom Cruise flew to the heights with Top Gun. Noticed in Taps, Outsiders, Risky Business or Legend in the early 80s, who was only a rising star becomes THE new face of American cinema thanks to the success of Tony Scott’s feature film, which rakes in more than 350 million dollars worldwide for a budget of only 15 million greenbacks.

At the time, even before filming, Cruise was aware that best gun is a major 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 the sets to the customs through photography. And the scenario, of course, which he develops with his producers for a month.

“I saw – cinematically – what they were going to do”remembers the comedian in the Top Gun Maverick press kit. “But the script wasn’t great. It didn’t work. There was no real character with Maverick. script, and I said that in my opinion it was a film about competition, about the honour, a film about friendship, about sacrifice and stakes and mistakes, and coming to terms with those mistakes”.

Convinced by the project, the actor also has two requirements: to shoot in a real F-14, and to fly with the Blue Angels, the Navy demonstration team which offers air shows across the United States. “It was a great flight. For the first time, I felt the different levels of G-force. You can read, learn about G-force, but you don’t understand it until you learn it. didn’t live. It was a great robbery. They let me do whatever I wanted – and I kept going until about 5G. months to figure out if I was going to commit to the movie or not, I was then already convinced that I was going to do it”.

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

Michael J. Fox


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

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 best gun ? The comedy thus for a time deviates from the shortlist for the role of Maverick, without this being able to materialize. It must be said that between Teen Wolf, The Secret of My Success and above all the Sacred Family series which used it from 1982 to 1989, his schedule was busy. Note that he will also be “entitled” to his war film with Outrages by Brian De Palma (1989) against… Sean Penn, a time in the running for joy Maverick too.

Emilio Estevez


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Emilio Estevez has, like his brother, Emilio Estevez has, like his brother Charlie Sheenalmost signed for best gun. Not selected, he still marks the 80s with the Breakfast Club of John Hughes, Close surveillance and hatching in the western Young Guns (or Tom Cruise makes a small non-credit appearance).

Rob Lowe


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Also a member of the Brat Pack, Rob Lowe revealed many years later that he didn’t get along very well with Tom Cruise on the tour of strangers, the too competitive. He was one of the actors selected for the role of Maverick, and eventually walked the ice of Youngblood when Cruise took to the skies at the controls of his F-14.

Matthew Broderick


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Unforgettable Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick is one of the faces to follow in the 80s when WarGames or Ladyhawke launched his career nicely. Logic as soon as he appears on the list of actors in the running to slip into command of best gun.

Matthew Modine


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Now well 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 commit in “pro-army” projects, he declines best gun for the benefit in particular of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Nicholas Cage


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Partner of Matthew Modine in birdNicolas Cage is also one of the rising Hollywood stars at the time of the preparation of best gun. He will take the place of Peggy Sue got married, alongside a certain Jim Carrey, also considered for the role of Maverick.

patrick swayze


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

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

Scott Baio


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

At the start of the 1980s, Scott Baio distinguished himself in the Principality on television, in the role of Chachi Arcola in the series Happy Days and in the lead role in the series Charles s’en charge. He said he turned down the role of Maverick in best gun.

John Travolta


Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

If the “Yellow Dogs” of best gun (the team members who direct Navy pilots on aircraft carriers) often dance on the flight deck after being accused of a catapult, they almost received lessons from a master in the matter: the name by John Travolta was thus mentioned by the production at the time, then dismissed because considered unbankable (the Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive years being over).

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