New Top Gun Pilots: Rooster, Pheonix, Hangman, BOB, Fanboy & Payback

Paramount just released a new set of photos that introduces some of the newcomers who will have a role to play in Maverick. We still don’t know a whole lot about the story, but these are the people we’ll presumably be spending a lot of time with.

Highlighting Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw, Glen Powell as ‘Hangman’, Monica Barbaro as ‘Phoenix’, Lewis Pullman as ‘Bob’, Jay Ellis as ‘Payback’, and Danny Ramirez as ‘Fanboy’.

Unlike the young pilots in the original film, the trainees in Maverick are all previous graduates of the Top Gun school (a.k.a. the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program).

“Those pilots were entering the Top Gun school for the first time,” Kosinski says of the original film’s characters, which included Maverick, Val Kilmer‘s Tom “Iceman” Kazansky and Anthony Edwards’ Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. “In our film, these are all Top Gun graduates who are coming back for a special training detachment — which is another aspect of Top Gun where they can go back for specialized training after they’ve already graduated. They’re at a different level of experience than in the first film.”

For the new actors, that meant eventually experiencing up to 1,600 pounds of force in F-18 Super Hornets, which were specially outfitted with up to six IMAX-quality cameras to capture the actors as they pretended to pilot the planes (which were actually operated by a Navy pilot in the other seat).

“The experience is thrilling but very physically grueling,” Kosinski says. “The maneuvers that we were putting them through to tell this story were not something that you can just jump in and do. They all had to go through months of aerial training. We put them through a training course that Tom actually designed himself. He’s a licensed aerobatic pilot, and he was thrown into deep end when he did the first Top Gun without any training. So he knew that they would need to kind of work up to that level. So they started in Cessnas and then worked their way up aerobatic airplanes then into small single-engine jets before they were in the Super Hornet. Occasionally it made some of the actors sick and that even happens to experienced fighter pilots.”

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”.

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

The original Top Gun was directed by Tony Scott and also starred Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” performed by Berlin. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

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