Originally written By Allie Gemmill for Screen Rant
Miles Teller will play Goose's son, Bradley Bradshaw, in Top Gun: Maverick. Although official details on the returning character's role in the long-awaited Top Gun sequel are scarce, reports and the Maverick trailer have provided hints at how he factors in.
Maverick returns viewers to the world of Top Gun more than 30 years later. Cruise will reprise his role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, now a much older Navy pilot who has eschewed promotions in favor of staying in the cockpit all these years. Despite a sterling record, Maverick faces the possibility of being pushed out by major changes to Navy pilot operations as well as a new class of Top Gun recruits, of which Bradley is a member. Bradley is the son of Maverick's best friend, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards).
The character of Bradley had a brief appearance in Top Gun but, given his age, Maverick will be the first time audiences get a proper introduction to Goose's progeny. There was a fierce casting for the role of Goose's son, with the likes of Nicolas Hoult and Glen Powell also in the running (the filmmakers like Powell so much he got a new role added for him). Here's what we know about the character of Bradley Bradshaw in Top Gun: Maverick, including his relationship to, Maverick, and how he's keeping Goose's memory alive.
BRADLEY IS A NEW TOP GUN RECRUIT IN TOP GUN 2
Bradley Bradshaw will be part of the newest class of Top Gun recruits in Top Gun: Maverick. The Top Gun class he is a part of will be the fifth generation of Navy pilots recruited to the program. It will likely also be the first Top Gun class to be trained with advanced planes as well as updated communication systems and new rules of engagement which have been influenced by modern warfare.
Outside of training, Goose's son is of a class of young pilots whose lives have been shaped by multiple wars and a more notable military presence in daily American life. He will have enlisted with an awareness of the U.S. armed forces and its involvement in recent and ongoing wars. But it stands to reason his initial interest in serving his country is no doubt founded on honoring the memory of his dad, Goose, who trained as a Radar Intercept Officer.
BRADLEY WILL BE MENTORED BY MAVERICK IN TOP GUN 2
Goose and Maverick's friendship was a key element in Top Gun. It was a clear fraternal bond between the pair that that it truly threw Maverick when Goose died in an accident during a training exercise. The Maverick trailer hints at this deep, lasting bond by featuring a photo of Goose in Maverick's locker as he gets ready to go to work.
Maverick will also stay connected to Goose through his relationship to Bradley in Maverick. Bradley already has a history with Maverick, having known the ace pilot as a young boy, as seen in the original Top Gun. It's unclear if Maverick has stayed in Bradley's life since Goose's death or if Bradley's recruitment into the Top Gun program will help re-establish the connection between the men. Although Maverick will inevitably become a mentor to Bradley it's also highly likely the recruit will have a few things to teach him, especially concerning the modernization of the Navy and how the times are changing for the old guard of Top Gun pilots.
BRADLEY RESEMBLES HIS DAD IN TOP GUN 2
Bradley is like Goose in a few notable ways. As previously discussed, the most obvious connection Bradley has to his dad is that he is also in the Navy, more specifically, a Top Gun recruit (his father was an RIO). But there are hints to other Goose-Bradley connections from the Top Gun: Maverick trailer.
Goose's son has adopted his father's striking facial hair in a rather immediate homage (men Bradley's age don't typically sport mustaches in this day and age). Bradley has also picked up his dad's penchant for singing in public, he's seen joining his pals in an emphatic, joyful singalong in a bar as he plays the piano. The moment recalls Goose and some other pilots singing backup for Maverick on "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" as he woos Charlie (Kelly McGillis) in Top Gun.
The final connection Bradley has to his dad is an interest in sports. Goose was game for some beach volleyball in Top Gun. In Maverick, Bradley will likely join in at least one game of beach football, as teased in two different shots including one of Glen Powell's fellow recruit looking particularly excited by how things are playing out.
BRADLEY WILL HAVE A VERY TENSE MOMENT IN TOP GUN 2
There's a particularly tense, brief shot in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer which shows Bradley in a heated exchange. His fellow recruits, including a character played by Insecure's Jay Ellis, have to hold him back as he points and shouts. Unlike his dad, who wasn't openly combative among other recruits or his superiors, Bradley seemingly has no qualms about aggressively pushing back on something when the occasion arises.