Will there be a ‘Top Gun 3?’

Tom Cruise Top Gun Maverick
Image via Paramount Pictures

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Top Gun: Maverick.

Top Gun: Maverick has, after many delays, finally been released in theaters to critical and financial acclaim, with some saying that it’s better than the first film. Whether or not that’s true, the quality of Maverick is undeniable, with many wondering if we’ll be getting a third film in the Top Gun series. 

Let’s unpack the possibilities of where a third Top Gun could go by looking at where Top Gun: Maverick left off. 

How did Top Gun: Maverick end?

miles teller top gun maverick
Image via Paramount Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick saw Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise, training a team of the best pilots the U.S. Navy had to offer for a top-secret mission. One of these pilots was the son of his old flight partner, Lieutenant Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards in the original Top Gun. His son, Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, is played by Miles Teller. 

After a promise to Rooster’s dying mother, Maverick did everything he could to prevent Rooster’s advancement as a pilot and Rooster resented him for that. A large part of the film is the pair reconciling and Maverick coming to terms with the guilt he feels for the part he played in the death of his friend. 

Another major thread of the film is whether or not Maverick is still capable of being an extraordinary pilot, as he is aging in a world of unmanned drones. To prove himself, Maverick performed the test for the mission flawlessly, doing better than any of the pilots he trained. Having proved himself, they let Maverick fly in the mission for one last ride.

The top-secret mission was completed successfully, though when Rooster was about to be shot down, Maverick saved him and was shot down himself. Not wanting Maverick to die, Rooster – against orders – returned to save Maverick and the pair managed to return to the base with the help of Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin, played by Glen Powell. 

Maverick and Rooster had reconciled by the end of the film, working together in Maverick’s hangar. Penelope “Penny” Benjamin, played by Jennifer Connelly, and her daughter also stopped by the hangar, seemingly cementing Maverick and Penny as a couple. With the film providing a happy ending without any casualties, will there be another entry in the franchise, and will Tom Cruise be involved? 

Will there be a Top Gun 3?

Image via Paramount Pictures

There are no confirmations of another film in the Top Gun series, and one of the stars of the film, Danny Ramirez, who played Lieutenant Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia, doesn’t think the chances of another film are high. But after the critical and financial success of the film, having earned its budget back in the span of a week, it seems likely that a threequel could be on the horizon. Ramirez mentioned that he does not rule out the possibility of a sequel, but also points out that fans who want to see his character again should go see Top Gun: Maverick while it’s still in theaters.

Even if a third film comes to fruition, Cruise might not reprise his role as Maverick now that the second film has done such a good job of wrapping up his story. He could return somewhere down the line, although if the filmmakers wait as long as they did to make a sequel of the first film, Top Gun 3 would come out in 2058 and Tom Cruise would be 96 years old, as he was only 24 when the first film was released and is turning 60 in 2022.

One could argue that a third film does not necessarily need to have Cruise in it. While Cruise is a major star and is great in the sequel alongside Connelly, the newcomers to the franchise could carry a sequel on their own. A film focusing on the characters played by either Miles Teller, Glen Powell, or Monica Barbaro could all work. In fact, Powell in particular has not ruled out a possible sequel, especially if filmmakers figure out a story interesting enough to make.

Either way, audiences are enjoying Top Gun: Maverick and would most likely be overjoyed if it was announced that a third film was in the works. The chances of another film seem high, especially as Hollywood continues to focus on franchises and sequels like the upcoming Jurassic World film Jurassic World Dominion. That said, it will most likely be up to the audience as to whether or not a third entry in the franchise will be greenlit. 

Top Gun: Maverick is currently playing in theaters.