Top Gun: Maverick star Jay Ellis, who plays Payback, is skeptical that the acclaimed action movie will actually get a sequel. Released more than 35 years after Tony Scott’s original film, Top Gun: Maverick sees Tom Cruise’s hotshot pilot training a new batch of recruits for a dangerous mission over enemy territory. The film, which is directed by Joseph Kosinski, earned rave reviews from audiences and critics alike and has become not only the highest-grossing movie of Cruise’s long career but the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office.
In addition to bringing back original characters like Val Kilmer’s Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, Top Gun: Maverick introduces a host of new pilots for audiences to root for. Working alongside Cruise’s Maverick is Miles Teller’s Rooster, Monica Barbaro’s Phoenix, Lewis Pullman’s Bob, Danny Ramirez’s Fanboy, Glen Powell’s Hangman, and Ellis’ Payback, many of whom play crucial roles during the film’s climactic aerial sequence. With Top Gun: Maverick‘s stellar box office performance and positive response from fans, many have wondered whether a sequel could be in the works. Previous reports have stated that whether Top Gun 3 happens is largely up to Cruise, who is currently busy finishing the Mission: Impossible franchise.
In a recent interview with People, Jay Ellis offers his thoughts on the chances of a Top Gun: Maverick sequel. Despite the second film’s success, Ellis casts doubt on Top Gun 3 actually happening, but still makes clear that he’s on board if it ever does come to fruition. Check out Ellis’ full comment below regarding another Top Gun movie:
“I haven’t heard about it, so if you know something, tell me. No, I don’t think there will be. What do I know? Maybe there will be. Maybe there will.
“I mean, we would all love to work together. We’d love to do it again. We’d love to be with Tom [Cruise] again. We’d love to be in the back F18s again. So if we’re lucky enough to do it again, I’m sure every single one of us would be there.”
How Top Gun 3 Could Bring Back Tom Cruise’s Maverick
Much like the first film, Cruise’s character is the glue that holds Top Gun: Maverick together. Not only is the film about Maverick reconciling with elements of his past, but Cruise himself played a large role in making the film’s action sequences as exciting and as practical as possible. Whether Top Gun 3 actually happens is still very much up in the air, but it’s hard to imagine a Top Gun movie without Cruise’s involvement. Given the character’s arc in Top Gun: Maverick, however, any sequel would likely be most effective if it makes the bold decision to relegate Cruise to more of a supporting role as younger pilots like Rooster, Phoenix, and Payback take center stage.
While Cruise’s willingness to play a supporting role is questionable, Top Gun 3 could risk undoing Maverick’s strong ending if it once again makes him the focus. Aside from the fact that Cruise’s age now makes it less believable that his character would be leading the charge on dangerous aerial missions, Top Gun: Maverick ultimately concluded Maverick’s journey in a highly satisfying way. Even if Cruise is relegated more to a supporting role, he could still serve as an executive producer on Top Gun 3, thus helping to craft more of the same thrilling action sequences as the ones in Top Gun: Maverick.