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The Top Gun: Maverick Star Who Was Beat Out By Miles Teller For The Role Of Rooster

Not content to merely be a box office success, "Top Gun: Maverick" has blown away the competition by not only breaking the $1 billion worldwide box office barrier but also becoming the most successful film of Tom Cruise's career to date. And while the Cruise missile himself is owed credit for the movie's success, he's far from the only one due those honors. The sequel to the 1986 classic has an incredible cast joining the in-flight action, including Val Kilmer reprising his role as Iceman (which Cruise demanded), and newcomer to the franchise Miles Teller, who fits right in as Rooster, the son of Mav's former co-pilot, Goose, who has jet fuel coursing through his veins.

Much like his hot-shot character, Teller came close to missing out on playing the role, and it was because of one of his own co-stars. As is often the case, a bit of friendly competition for the same part led Teller and another actor to fight for airspace. While Teller got the gig in the end, clearly, his rival made an impact, as Cruise and others found a different flight path for the runner-up, who ended up almost stealing the show, regardless.

Glen Powell was a rival choice for Rooster before he became Hangman

In an interview with IndieWire, Miles Teller's co-star Glen Powell revealed that before he was cast as cocky surprise hero Hangman, he initially had his sights on the role of Rooster, instead. "I actually auditioned for Miles Teller's role, Rooster. And I didn't end up getting that role, and I wasn't really sure I was going to do the movie [when they offered me this other role]," Powell revealed. Understandably a little reluctant to go for an alternative, it was left to the big names behind the film to request Powell come into land elsewhere. "I got to have some great conversations with Tom [Cruise] and Jerry [Bruckheimer] and Joe [Kosinski] and Chris McQuarrie. Sort of the promise they made was, 'Hey, you're going to get to have agency over who this character is.'"

The winning pitch ended up coming from Tom Cruise himself, who, no stranger to taking on (ahem) impossible missions, turned Powell round to the idea. The action legend told the up-and-comer, "We want you to represent the original 'Top Gun.' We need that sort of swagger. We need that fun, that unapologetic ego in this movie. We want this thing to play on the attributes that we think make you special." The result led to Powell bringing a scene-stealing performance that was fuelled by traces of Val Kilmer's Iceman, with even a splash of a younger Mav. Watch your six, Rooster.