Top Gun 2 Can Set Up A Sequel Without Tom Cruise

While Top Gun: Maverick is a Tom Cruise vehicle through and through, the movie makes a smart decision by appearing to copy Scream 2022’s formula and set up a sequel without its leading star. Top Gun 2’s rip-roaring approach to date has been admirable as it attempts to establish a whole new blockbuster cast while also getting fans nostalgic for its returning characters after a 36-year hiatus. Yet as much as Top Gun: Maverick wants Iceman and Maverick’s reunion to pull on the heartstrings; the franchise installment also owes its new cast members their moment in the spotlight.,In practical terms, studios can’t guarantee that subsequent sequels will be a success unless viewers care about both generations of characters. In artistic terms, centering a new movie entirely around legacy characters can feel tired, leading critics to ask why the creators didn’t just opt to stage a cast reunion instead of making an entire sequel. As such, sequels like Top Gun: Maverick and Scream 2022 are faced with a tricky catch-22 as they must get viewers invested in new stars while also hyping up the old guard.,Related: Why Jon Hamm’s Comments Are Good News For Top Gun 2,Fortunately, Top Gun: Maverick’s trailers prove the movie can replicate Scream 2022’s biggest coup in this regard. The Top Gun 2 teaser holds off on revealing Maverick for its opening half, focusing instead on the chemistry between new characters like Glen Powell’s Hangman and Monica Barbara’s Phoenix. Similarly, the critically acclaimed Scream 2022 was about halfway underway before franchise star Sidney Prescott made her much-vaunted screen return. While the trailers pulled this off well, it remains to be seen whether the Top Gun sequel itself can repeat this trick.,Ideally, Top Gun: Maverick could replicate Scream 2022’s success by building up the new cast members and getting viewers invested in them before bringing back the original heroes. This would ensure that another sequel won’t rely on Cruise’s star power and would build up hype for Val Kilmer’s Iceman return and Cruise’s Maverick comeback at the same time, much like Scream 2022 managed to pull off with Neve Campbell’s character. Whether the new movie will be able to succeed in this endeavor remains to be seen, but the scenes seen in the Top Gun: Maverick preview media bode well here.,In the brief interaction that viewers see in the Top Gun 2 teaser trailer, Powell and Barbara’s characters trade barbs, much like Miles Teller’s Rooster and Cruise’s Maverick later come to blows. Both Top Gun: Maverick character interactions look intriguing in the teaser, and, crucially, the sequel’s trailer doesn’t focus on the established antihero over the new cast members, much like Scream 2022 spent its first act establishing the new cast before re-introducing old fan favorites. However, whether Top Gun: Maverick will succeed in pulling off this balance throughout the entire movie is another question. The appeal of putting a star as reliable as Cruise front and center will be hard for the film to resist, even though Top Gun: Maverick’s trailers make it look like the sequel will replicate Scream 2022’s clever reboot strategy.,More: Top Gun 2 Theme Tease Reveals Maverick’s Biggest Challenge