Since the first trailer came out, it was clear that the long-awaited sequel to the high-flying classic Top Gun from 1986 would make people feel nostalgic with scenes that looked like the first movie.
Top Gun: Maverick is a lot like the original, which was directed by Tony Scott and made $356 million around the world, right down to the blood-pumping aerial combat manoeuvres and shirtless volleyball games.
The original movie had a lot of well-known actors whose careers grew after it came out, but Top Gun will always be remembered as the movie that turned Tom Cruise from a teenage heartthrob to a real leading man, one scene at a time.
In honour of the new Top Gun movie, Michigansportszone looks at what the actors have been up to since the first movie came out more than 30 years ago.
When Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was cast, Tom Cruise's popularity was on the rise. Between The Outsiders and Risky Business, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor, Cruise was on his way to becoming a star.
When he flew against Russian MiGs in an F-14 Tomcat, he was already a big name. In the years after that, he couldn't stop being a leading man. He was in Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman, Stanley Kubrick's last movie Eyes Wide Shut, and even played a bad guy in Michael Mann's Collateral.
He has been nominated three times for an acting Oscar, for his roles as the main character in Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire and as a supporting character in Magnolia.
In Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise plays his main role again as the rebellious stick jockey. He also keeps playing Ethan Hunt, the spy at the centre of the Mission: Impossible movies.
Kelly McGillis was noticed by Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer when she played an Amish woman opposite Harrison Ford in Witness. Bruckheimer cast McGillis as Charlie Blackwood, the no-nonsense instructor who turns out to be in love with her. After Top Gun was a huge financial success.
McGillis starred in a few movies, like The Accused in 1988, but he mostly stayed in the theatre, even though he was a big star by the late 1980s. Since then, she has been in a few small, independent films, worked here and there on TV, and kept doing theatre.
Many of the actors in Top Gun got more famous because of it, and Val Kilmer is no exception. After doing well as the lead actor in the teen science fiction comedy Real Genius, Kilmer was cast as the cool-headed and methodical bad guy Iceman.
Iceman, who plays Maverick's constant tormentor, eventually warms up to the rebellious side of the movie's hero in a touching scene of friendship near the end of the movie.
Kilmer went on to be in a lot of movies, including Willow, The Doors (as lead singer Jim Morrison), True Romance, Tombstone, Heat, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Kilmer had a small part in the new Kevin Smith movie Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. He hasn't been able to work much in recent years because of health problems. He makes a brief appearance as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick.
In the early 1980s, Anthony Edwards worked regularly on TV and in small films, but his first leading role as Gilbert in the raucous college comedy Revenge of the Nerds made him a real leading actor.
Edwards played Goose, a radar intercept officer and Maverick's constant companion, whose story takes a sad turn halfway through the movie. Top Gun was a big hit. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Edwards played in many TV movies before landing the role of Mark Greene in the hospital drama ER.
For this role, he was nominated for an Emmy four times as an outstanding lead actor in a drama series. He has continued to do well on TV with recurring roles in Billions, Law & Order, and Inventing Anna on Netflix. Miles Teller plays Goose's son in Top Gun: Maverick. He is a new pilot who is taught by his father's old wingman.
Tom Skerritt had been acting in movies since 1962's War Hunt when he was chosen to play the wise instructor pilot Viper. He spent most of the 1960s acting in different TV shows. He was often a soldier or cowboy in shows like Combat!, The Virginian, and Gunsmoke.
In Robert Altman's 1970 satire MASH, he played a soldier again, this time with Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould. He may be best known for his role as Captain Dallas, the leader of the doomed spaceship Nostromo, in Ridley Scott's 1979 horror film Alien.
After Top Gun, Skerritt was in a lot of other movies and TV shows, including Steel Magnolias and Cheers. For his role as Sheriff Brock in Picket Fences, he won an Emmy. He has stayed busy and will be in the 2021 drama East of the Mountains with Mira Sorvino.
Michael Ironside, who was born in Canada and started acting in movies in the late 1970s, became known for his role as the scheming psychic Darryl Revok in David Cronenberg's sci-fi horror film Scanners in 1981.
He played other scary roles in low-budget movies before being cast as Jester, Viper's No. 2 instructor, in Top Gun. Even though he switched genres, he kept getting sci-fi roles in movies like Highlander II: The Quickening, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers.
He has also been in a lot of TV shows, including Tales from the Crypt, Walker, Texas Ranger, ER, and Desperate Housewives. Recently, he was on the Hulu show The Dropout.
Tim Robbins had a recurring role on the TV show St. Elsewhere in 1982, even though he had just graduated from UCLA with a degree in drama. After a few more small roles, he was finally cast in Top Gun as Merlin, Maverick's backseater during the film's climax.
Robbins didn't become a big star until 1988's Bull Durham. This was followed by a series of successful mainstream movies in the 1990s, such as Jacob's Ladder, The Player, and The Shawshank Redemption, in which Robbins played the quiet but smart prisoner Andy Dufresne.
Robbins won an Oscar for his role in Mystic River in 2004, and his acting career hasn't really slowed down since then. He played Reginald “Pop” Merrill in Hulu's Stephen King-inspired anthology series Castle Rock and a crooked DuPont lawyer in the 2019 movie Dark Waters.
Meg Ryan had only been in a few TV shows before she was cast as Carole, Goose's wife. The only ones she had been in before were Rich and Famous in 1981 and Amityville 3-D two years later. Top Gun was just the start of her career, of course.
Soon after, she starred in hit after hit, like When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless in Seattle, Courage Under Fire, You've Got Mail, and Kate & Leopold. Since then, Ryan has moved from in front of the camera to behind it. Her first film as a director, Ithaca, came out in 2015.