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Top Gun is an all time Rooftop Film Club favourite. It’s our most requested film by far and you guys can’t seem to get enough of Maverick’s charms. It was the role Tom Cruise was born to play. Or was it? Gareth Hutchins explores what could have been if Danny Dyer took the lead in everybody’s favourite cheesy action flick. 

It is a little known fact that Tony Scott’s first choice to play the lead role of Maverick in the iconic Eighties movie Top Gun was not Tom Cruise. It was, in fact, British thespian Danny Dyer. Due to the fact that Danny was only ten at the time it sadly fell through. In a fairly left field move, the role was then offered to British naturalist Terry Nutkins, but that too fell through due to an unfortunately timed otter attack. So third choice Cruise got the role and the rest is history. Now it’s been very difficult to find as it’s been buried so deeply, but after spending weeks digging with our cyber trowels we have finally managed to uncover a glimpse of the world that might have been. Against all the odds we have somehow unearthed the final scenes of Top Gun that were written for the prodigious talents of Mr Danny Dyer.

So to set the scene, Maverick has just saved the day and chased off those dastardly Russian swines. He has now landed his jet and is about to be welcomed with a heroes return. Drum roll please…



Maverick cuts his engine as the ground crew swarms beneath his plane. Maverick and Fungus climb down. They “whoop” and wave. People are hugging and “high fiving” Maverick everywhere. Ice (Val Kilmer) is looking in Maverick’s direction. He’s glaring and his face is hard to read. Maverick sees him and although he’s being mobbed, he manages to push through, over to Ice. They stare at each other for a moment, eye to eye. Alpha male to alpha male. Finally, Ice breaks in to a big grin.



[Pointing at Maverick]

You are still dangerous!


But you can be my wingman anytime.


You don’t ‘alf talk some bollocks mate! You can be my fucking wingman you massive slag!

They laugh and embrace


[Suddenly deadly serious]

I could murder some crispy duck. You in?




Good lad. See you in twenty.

Ice nods. Cheers all round


Maverick stands on the edge of an airbase holding two dog tags in his hand and looks at them, reflective. He then gazes out to see, misty eyed. He seems to be struggling internally.


[to himself]

Come on you prick. Grow a pair of bollocks will ya!

With a sudden surge of courage that immediately fades in to a heavy exhale, Maverick tosses the dog tags in to a steel bin, making a loud clang, where they come to rest in a half-eaten bag of chips.


Maverick is putting some of his gear in to his locker when Stinger walks in.



Maverick turns around smiling.




I mean Sir.


How does it feel to be on the front of every newspaper in the English speaking world? Even though the other side denies the incident. Congratulations!


I know mate. I’m even trending on fucking twitter! Proper mental.


They gave you your choice of duties son. Anything, anywhere. Can you believe that shit? Where do you think you wanna go?


Well I thought I might spend a few weeks getting off me nut. Thinking Southend or somewhere.


Then I’m thinking about being a fuck off instructor Sir.



Top Gun?!


Well that or open a boozer. Not one of them poncy ones full of slags and wanker bankers or any of that bollocks though. A proper fucking pub. One with a dartboard.


But I’ll probably be a fuck off instructor…




God help us!

Stinger slaps Maverick on the shoulders, laughs and walks off.


Maverick sits at a bar solemnly supping on a blue WKD. The highs of being a hero appear to have worn off. We see a close up of a coin in a jukebox. “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” begins to play. On hearing the music Maverick raises an eyebrow and looks around. There’s no one there. He gets up, leaving his drink at the bar and slowly walks over towards the jukebox. As he nears the jukebox he appears to be reminiscing. He pours the remnants of a packet of pork scratchings in to his open mouth. In the background Charlie (Kelly McGillis) appears. Instinctively Maverick turns around and their eyes meet.



Hello Pete Mitchell.

Maverick grins.


[Hands on hips and grinning whilst shaking his head]

You slag!

 They stare at each other in silence for a few moments.


I heard the best of the best was gonna be back here so…

Maverick laughs and they gaze adoringly in to each other’s eyes.


It could be a bit complicated.


You know on the first run I fell flat on me fat arse.


And the second?


I dunno. But it’s looking good so far.


Reckon I could be balls deep by seven at this rate.

They embrace.


Double naughty.


Two years later Danny Dyer (then 12) was also offered the lead male role in the movie Dirty Dancing, which again fell through. The world just wasn’t ready. But that’s another story for another time.



Get your tickets for Top Gun and the rest of our awesome summer programme by visiting our Rooftop Film Club Website.

Gareth Hutchins is a London based, freelance writer with an unhealthy obsession for all things film.  If you’d like to read more of his film related thoughts and mutterings you can do so at the following blog

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