Maverick Secretly Reveals Tom Cruise’s Best Top Gun 3 Role

The events of Top Gun: Maverick secretly reveals Tom Cruise's best future role for Top Gun 3. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's story continues more than three decades since he was first introduced in Tony Scott's cult classic, Top Gun through director Joseph Kosinski's sequel. In Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise's daredevil pilot continues to live life on the edge, testing his limits when it comes to his piloting skills. 

Despite his flying capabilities, not to mention his impressive record, Maverick remains a lowly Navy Captain in Top Gun: Maverick. His inability to let go of the past and fear of being grounded have held him back for years. Luckily for him, he finds a new purpose when is called to train a new batch of fighter pilots for an incredibly dangerous mission. At the end of Top Gun: Maverick, not only did he and his team successfully carry out their goal, but Mitchell also finally got to patch things up with Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his fallen flying partner and RIO, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards).


Related: Charlie's Return Would've Ruined Maverick's Flawless Top Gun Ending

Due to Top Gun: Maverick's success, it's highly unlikely that the franchise ends with just one sequel. Top Gun 3 is inevitable and despite Maverick's perfect ending with his professional and personal lives right back on track, there's no way that the third movie will move forward without the character. Effectively incorporating Mitchell into Top Gun 3's story is a big challenge, as it risks undermining his arc thus far. Luckily, Top Gun: Maverick already illustrated the best way to utilize him. The Kosinski-directed flick highlighted how good he is as a leader. Maverick naturally drew loyalty from people Hondo (Bashir Salahuddin) and his people at the testing center followed him, even when he was at his most daring. The same happened to his students at TOPGUN. Top Gun 3 needs to capitalize on this by finally making Maverick's future role that of a high-ranking officer in the Navy where he can have his own team. Perhaps he could even spearhead a cell that specializes in tricky missions, just so he could continue working with Rooster, Hangman (Glen Powell), and Phoenix (Monica Barbaro).

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise

Going through this narrative route allows Paramount to still put Cruise at the center of the storytelling of Top Gun 3 without undoing Maverick’s progression in Top Gun: Maverick. After all, finally climbing the Navy ladder is the natural development of his story. Following the highly-dangerous mission that almost killed him, he needs to realize that there's more to life and his career than actually flying planes himself. He could continue to be an integral part of the organization by being on the ground, passing on everything he knows about flying to his contemporaries. This way, his legacy can continue even when he's no longer around. As a grounded leader, Maverick also gets in a better position to square off against Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain, played by Ed Harris who is pushing for self-flying planes, decreasing the value of actual pilots who fly them. His introduction and brief appearance in Top Gun: Maverick could lead to a more prominent role as he becomes the primary villain of Top Gun 3, and there's no better person to prove his assumptions wrong than Maverick. 

Following the box office success of Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount would expectedly be more eager to greenlight Top Gun 3. The studio needs to make sure, however, that the third movie will be crafted as carefully as its predecessor, otherwise, it risks burning the burgeoning franchise very early on. This means that despite Maverick's happy ending in the sequel, his best future role sees him continue being an intrinsic part of what comes next in the film series.