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Top Gun 3 Would Be Better For Tom Cruise Than Mission: Impossible 9

Tom Cruise has two Mission Impossible sequels on the way, but his career would be better served by focusing on the Top Gun franchise for now.

Unlike the Mission Impossible series, which has reliably released a film once every few years since the franchise began in 1996, Top Gun has never had a sequel since the 1986 original. Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise return to the titular role of the new older pilot “Maverick” Mitchell. But this time around, he’ll be the instructor to a crew of new pilots including rising star Miles Teller, who plays the son of Anthony Edwards' Nick "Goose" Bradshaw. It’s a clever decision for Cruise to take on the instructor role in this long-awaited sequel, with the character's position as a teacher meaning he'll butt heads with Goose's hotheaded kid. Seeing Cruise's character dealing with a cocky young recruit reminiscent of his younger self is guaranteed to result in some stellar character drama along with the requisite thrilling action sequences.

Tom Cruise has been a near-constant presence on cinema screens since the early eighties, and Top Gun was amongst his first big hits when he was still breaking out. As a result, jump to 2020 and beyond, and much like Sylvester Stallone’s decision to play Rocky Balboa as a coach in 2015’s Creed, Cruise can now gracefully age Maverick into the mentor role. And moving out of the pilot's seat and perhaps handing over to the younger characters in the franchise, while remaining in a similar backseat role to Rocky in Creed would actually serve Cruise better than continuing to play action lead, Ethan Hunt, in the Mission: Impossible movies.

Sylvester Stallone was aware that his advancing age might make another bruising bout of boxing drama look unintentionally sad (or hilarious) instead of thrilling, and his canny decision to grow into a mentorship role saw him gain Oscars attention for the first time in years. Although Cruise shows no signs of slowing down - or even getting someone else to do his stunts - any time soon, he is also aging. It may be almost impossible to tell thanks to his impressive commitment on-set, but the actor is nearing sixty and with both Top Gun: Maverick and two more Mission Impossible installments confirmed in his screen future, he’s a busy man. As such, Cruise runs a very real risk of looking ludicrous if he continues to play an action hero into his seventh decade, as evidenced by the critical drubbing that Stallone’s later Rambo appearances received.

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