Last month, “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to “Top Gun” (1986), was released in theaters 36 years after the first film’s debut. Almost immediately after the film came out, the power of social media, particularly users on the popular platform TikTok, voiced agreement on the strength of the plot — of course, the plot being Miles Teller.
Just to backtrack a bit, the first “Top Gun” film featured ’80s heartthrobs Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer. For those who have not yet watched either film or who otherwise just skipped the first and ran right over to the movie theaters for “Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise plays Pete “Maverick” Mitchell alongside Anthony Edwards’ character, known as Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. In the first film, Goose has a young son with his wife Carole Bradshaw, played by Meg Ryan.
Fast forward to 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” and Miles Teller plays the now-famous Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, son of Goose and Carole. In this film, the original fans were glad to welcome back longtime hunk Tom Cruise and meet some new handsome faces, including Miles Teller, Glenn Powell and Jon Hamm. Though these men have drawn quite a bit of attention, Miles Teller has become the focus on social media.
In “Top Gun,” the main plot revolves around Tom Cruise and his journey as an aviator, but in “Top Gun: Maverick,” Miles Teller steals the show. From his red carpet appearance (and dance) at the Cannes movie premiere to his stellar performance in the film, fans have taken an extreme liking to the young actor.
As soon as the film dropped, many (mostly female) fans took to TikTok with dramatic videos and edits that demonstrated their attraction to Miles Teller in his role. Essentially, the film has gained an entirely new demographic: women, who previously would not have cared for aviation but found common ground in supporting Teller.
Users started the viral hashtag #tellertok on TikTok to express their excitement. Since it first appeared, the hashtag has accumulated up to 32.3 million views with a frenzy of countless videos relating to Teller’s previous films, interview clips, red carpet looks and, of course, his latest work in “Top Gun: Maverick.” The most popular TikTok videos focus on “thirst” clips of a dance he does during a volleyball match in the film. These TikTok videos have encouraged even more people to watch the movie.
Funnily enough, these videos have reached the attention of Miles Teller’s wife, Keleigh Teller, who has a verified account on the app. Since the release of the film and the viral reactions of fans, she has gone as far as distributing exclusive Teller content. Keleigh has posted many videos of her husband on her account. Fans in her comment section have praised and thanked her for the additional access they have been given to Teller’s life through her videos. Followers have also reveled in the fact that she remains active in the comment sections of other TikTok accounts, approving of their Miles Teller obsessions with emojis.
Though Teller does not yet have an account, news of his recent TikTok fame has inevitably reached him. In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Teller expressed the joy his newfound TikTok fame has brought him. In regard to his wife’s interactions on TikTok, Teller commented, “I’ll just see her on her phone and then she’ll start cracking up. So, then she shares what’s going on. It’s great! If it brings people [to] the theater or gets some new fans for me, that’s all good.”
Longtime Teller fans have been more than motivated to give this film a chance, noting his talent from previous films such as “The Spectacular Now,” “Footloose,” “Whiplash” and more. In just a few short weeks, the film has gained a large amount of attention, which has led to “Top Gun: Maverick” officially replacing “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” as the No. 1 film of 2022. Unsurprisingly, Twitter account @FilmUpdates shared that “Top Gun: Maverick” surpassed $700 million at the worldwide box office, becoming the highest-grossing film.
Countless users on other platforms have tweeted their opinions of the film, the majority in awe. Celebrity Kim Kardashian shared a message via her Instagram story: “3rd time watching Top Gun! Its soooooo good!!!” A Twitter user, @CEOAdam wrote, “I have told you all – repeatedly – that Top Gun: Maverick is one AMAZING movie. The current Rotten Tomatoes score is 97% from the critics and 99% from moviegoers. If there is any movie to see this spring, it is this one!”
Due to such high ratings and positive reactions, Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins personally addressed the strong performance of “Top Gun: Maverick.” Though the film has done immensely well, Robbins said he actually wishes to avoid discussing a third installment and rather focus on continuing to spotlight the latest film.
As ScreenRant writer Joe Milo points out, the fact that a third film is not yet being discussed or developed speaks volumes to the integrity of the film production. That is not to say that there won’t be another “Top Gun,” but it may take a while! For now, “Top Gun” fans should cross their fingers in hopes of a possible third film because “Maverick” was exciting and clearly very enticing to watch. In the end, this film serves as proof that social media plays a big role in the amount of attention a film — and an actor — receives. From navigating a plane, to recreating the famous Anthony Edwards “Great Balls of Fire” scene on the piano, and not to forget the volleyball scene — it’s no wonder Miles Teller has garnered an entirely new fanbase from this film.