In the film's latest trailer, which is mostly cuts of Cruise doing really cool tricks in the air, Maverick returns to naval school after 30 years away to teach a group of excitable green Top Gun pilots the art of aviation. An icon in his own right, Maverick has to train them to be the very best while living up to his own legacy.
Top Gun: Maverick is just one of the many throwback stories being given new life; other classic films that have are set to be retold for new audiences years after their original debut include Ghostbusters, the vampire/ superhero thriller Blade (starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali), and Dune (with Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya). But unlike many of the film reboots, which are altering their storylines to reflect the times, the new Top Gun movie seems to be sticking to the script, especially when it comes to the role of women in the story.
Per the trailer, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, and Manny Jacinto make up Maverick's group of mentees, with Monica Barbaro rounding out the crew. Jennifer Connelly even makes an appearance in the film as Cruise's love interest, seen holding on tightly to him as he drives a motorcycle through the desert. But from the looks of it, we don't see Barbaro and Connelly really doing anything. They're not the top students in the flight class or the badass admiral pushing Maverick to be a better leader — they're kind of just...there. In fact, the iconic Top Gun theme song plays a bigger part in the trailer than they do; Barbaro and Connelly literally have no spoken lines in the two-minute teaser.
It's in glaring contrast to films like the upcoming James Bond installment No Time to Die, in which we'll see our current Bond Daniel Craig pass the mantle of 007 to British actress Lashana Lynch. In No Time to Die, Bond may be the protagonist, but the women around him play a significant role in the action-packed plot's forward movement. Eve Moneypenney (Naomie Harris) is the secret agent's close friend and advisor, Nomi (Lynch) is his protégé, and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) is his love interest who previously helped him complete his mission in Spectre. It's further proof that in 2019, men don't have to be the only ones onscreen shooting guns and blowing things up. We want in on the action, too.
Will Top Gun: Maverick take a page from No Time to Die and finally put women in the spotlight, or will it just be yet another episode of the The Tom Cruise Show? You'll have to find out when the film hits theaters on June 25, 2020.