Nicholas Hoult, Glen Powell and Miles Teller are the frontrunners for a key role in Top Gun 2.
The long-awaited sequel to the seminal 1980s movie once again stars Tom Cruise, reprising his role as the hot-shot pilot with the call sign Maverick.
Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in sci-fi thriller Oblivion, is directing the movie, which is also bringing back Val Kilmer’s rival pilot code-named Iceman.
But the highly coveted role for the young men of Hollywood this time around is the son of Maverick’s wingman and best pal, Goose. Played by Anthony Edwards in the Tony Scott-directed original, the character provided an emotional spine to the movie when he is killed by accident and Maverick blames himself.
The original featured Goose’s son as a young boy, with Meg Ryan playing his mother.
Producers — who include Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer and Skydance’s David Ellison — have been testing actors for several weeks, winnowing the list down to Hoult, Powell and Teller. Dylan O’Brien and Austin Butler were among those in the mix in a previous stage.
Insiders say some of the final round of testing took place earlier this week in Clearwater, Fla., where Cruise lives and is prepping to launch his press tour for Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Clearwater is also a Scientology headquarters.
Hoult plays the blue-furred Beast in the X-Men movies and counts Mad Max: Fury Road and Rebel in the Rye amongst his credits.
Powell currently stars in Set It Up, Netflix’s surprise hit romantic comedy that also stars Zoey Deutch. He played astronaut John Glenn in Hidden Figures and appeared in Fox’s Scream Queens.
Teller starred in the big-screen dramas Thank You for Your Service and Only the Brave. His big breakout film was 2014’s Whiplash.
Nicholas Hoult has been cast in The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos’ next film — a period drama The Favourite that stars the already reported Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Hoult recently wrapped production on The Current War playing Nikola Tesla opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. He also plays J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye which will be distributed through IFC this fall.
In The Favourite, Hoult will play “Harley,” the Tory party leader during the reign of Queen Anne at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. The story was written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Scarlet Films’ Ceci Dempsey and Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday — who produced The Lobster — will produce The Favourite. Element’s Andrew Lowe is exec producing.
Hoult, who audiences can see currently in Collide (bowed this past weekend), is repped by UTA, management company 42 and law firm Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.