Top Gun 2 is currently casting the key role of Goose's son Riot, and Nicholas Hoult, Glen Powell and Miles Teller are reportedly all vying for the part. A recent character breakdown revealed that the Top Gun sequel, officially titled Top Gun: Maverick, will include the grown son of Anthony Edwards' "Goose" Bradshaw, the wingman of Maverick who of course died in the original Top Gun. The sequel sees Tom Cruise's Maverick taking on the role of flight instructor and becoming a mentor to a new generation of hot shot Navy pilots.
Released in 1986, the original Top Gun catapulted Cruise to super-stardom while grossing $176 million at the domestic box office (which translates to $436 million if adjusted for ticket price inflation). After years of rumors about a potential sequel, last year Cruise officially announced that Top Gun 2 was on, with Tron: Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski later being named to direct. Earlier this year, Cruise marked the official start of production on the long-awaited sequel to one of his biggest hits.
With Top Gun: Maverick now officially underway, Paramount and Cruise have accelerated the process of locking down the movie's cast. One key role yet to be filled is that of "Riot" Wrigley, the son of "Goose" Bradshaw, who seeks to become a fighter pilot like his father and winds up under the wing of his dad's former wingman Maverick. As reported by THR, Nicholas Hoult, Glen Powell and Miles Teller are the three actors currently vying for the role of Riot, with at least one round of testing reportedly taking place in Clearwater, Florida where Cruise lives. Dylan O'Brien and Austin Butler were also in the running at an earlier point.
The previous casting breakdown that broke the news of Goose's son being in the movie described the character this way:
Supporting Male (20-29) Goose’s son. All-American good looks. Rode a football scholarship to an Ivy League degree. He is in love with Sugar. He distrusts Maverick and dislikes what he stands for, although they have a lot of similarities. Eventually, comes to respect Maverick and uses his techniques. He is forced to eject in enemy territory and Maverick comes to save him.
Riot's distrust of Maverick is certainly tied to the fact that his father died while flying with the loose cannon pilot. Goose's death provided a key moment in the original Top Gun, as guilt over the incident nearly drove Maverick to quit the Top Gun program. That guilt was the thing Maverick had to overcome in order to rise up in the third act and ultimately triumph. It seems as though the conflict between Riot and Maverick will be at the center of Top Gun 2, and a lot of that conflict will be born of the fact that the two men are a lot more similar than they care to admit.
Riot definitely sounds like a plum role, so it's no surprise to see three actors with solid track records vying for the part. Who among the trio of Hoult, Powell and Teller will ultimately be chosen to take a ride into the danger zone with Tom Cruise in Top Gun 2? That will likely be revealed in the not-too-distant future. But will the winning actor get to take his shirt off and play beach volleyball with Cruise?
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2020