Top Gun 2: Maverick is going forward, but it won't feature the return of Michael Ironside as Jester. The sequel is currently filming and sees the return of Tom Cruise as Maverick and Val Kilmer as Iceman. While Lieutenant Commander Rick "Jester" Heatherly didn't have a major part in the 1986's Top Gun, it would've still been cool to see him back in the role after all of these years. As it turns out, Ironside thinks he knows why he wasn't asked to participate in the sequel.
As for the reasoning behind not getting a role in Top Gun 2, Michael Ironside believes it's due to a communication breakdown with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Apparently Ironside and Bruckheimer aren't on the best of terms these days. Ironside had this to say about his current relationship with Jerry Bruckheimer and his involvement in Top Gun 2.
"I'm not going to be in this film. The one person still in charge is Jerry Bruckheimer and Mr. Bruckheimer and I don't really get along, or didn't get along. He offered me a project 10 or 12 years ago and... I said no to it."
68-year old Michael Ironside specializes in playing villains and tough guys, which was perfect for the Jester role in the original Top Gun. As it turns out, there might be more to the Jerry Bruckheimer story than just turning down a role. However, the actor doesn't hold any ill will towards the producer. Ironside explains.
"The next time I saw him at a hockey game... I went up and said, Hey Jerry and he just turned around and I figured, Well that relationship is over with. But he has a business he has to run, he has to make decisions based on his way of doing things and what makes him feel safe."
Michael Ironside isn't the only original member of the cast that won't be appearing in Top Gun 2. Kelly McGillis played Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood in the first film and expressed interest in returning to do Top Gun 2, but she apparently was never asked to participate. Her character in the original film is based on a real-life person, Christine Fox, who worked at the Miramar Naval Air Station. Anthony Edwards jokingly said he'd return to play Ghost Goose, but that probably won't happen, even though it would be pretty awesome.
Michael Ironside won't participate in Top Gun 2, but the actor is still excited to see the movie. Ironside likes that it's going to deal with the end of dogfighting and the emergence of drone fighting. The actor likened drone warfare to almost playing a video game, noting that there's no "emotional or spiritual responsibility for the taking of another life." While that bit of the script hasn't been officially confirmed, Ironside hopes that it will take that stance. The lengthy interview with Michael Ironside was originally conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.