'An Officer and a Gentleman' Is Getting a Remake. Here Are 5 Actors Who Could Play Sgt. Emil Foley

Louis Gossett Jr. became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Marine Corps Sgt. Emil Foley. (Paramount Pictures)

Miles Teller is reportedly returning to the big screen as a U.S. Navy officer.

On June 14, 2024, Deadline announced that Teller, who appeared as Rooster in the 2022 mega-hit "Top Gun: Maverick," will now star in an upcoming remake of the beloved 1982 romantic military drama "An Officer and a Gentleman."

The original film depicted Richard Gere ("Pretty Woman") as Zack Mayo, a troubled and rebellious loner who wants to finish Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School training while finding love with a local woman, Paula, played by Debra Winger ("Terms of Endearment"). To get through the training, Mayo must earn the respect of his imposing Marine Corps drill instructor, Sgt. Emil Foley, played by Louis Gossett Jr. ("Roots"). Gossett would win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, the first Black man ever to win the category.

Related: Louis Gossett Jr., Award-Winning Actor Who Portrayed Hard-Nosed Marine in 'An Officer and a Gentleman,' Has Died at 87

Teller is the only actor known to be attached to the project so far, and it stands to reason he would be taking on the lead role. But since you can't make "An Officer and a Gentleman" without Sgt. Foley, it led us to speculate who might be a good candidate to fill the shoes of a legend like Gossett. while standing taller than Miles Teller, who is reportedly 6 feet, 1 inch tall.

Here are some of our top picks.

1. Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali as Lt. Col. Jim Johnson in 2016's "Hidden Figures." (20th Century Fox)

There's probably nothing that Ali, the star of "Moonlight" and "Green Book," can't do. He's the recipient of two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and nominated for five Emmy Awards, winning one of them. He played a military officer in "Hidden Figures," a villain in the Netflix series "Luke Cage" and even voiced a video game ("Madden NFL 18: Longshot"). At 6'2", he stands taller than Miles Teller and has a resting face that any Marine Corps drill instructor would admire.

2. Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown as Will Traeger in 2018's "The Predator." (20th Century Fox)

Sterling K. Brown is usually the best part of any film or television show he's in. While you may not think of him as an intimidating drill instructor, look back at his movie career. He fought an AI army in the recently released "Atlas," tried to lead an armed uprising in "Black Panther" and even portrayed an enlisted Marine in Afghanistan in "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot." While he's one inch shorter than Teller, he can still bring the intimidation. In the 2018 film "The Predator," he got as close to Samuel L. Jackson as someone could get without actually being Samuel L. Jackson (the only reason Jackson didn't make this list is because he's 75 years old).

3. Idris Elba

Idris Elba as Gen. Stone in "28 Weeks Later." (20th Century Fox)

At age 51, Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation") might seem a little old to play a Marine Corps drill instructor, but keep in mind Gossett was 47 when he became Sgt. Foley. He also might seem to be a little too British, but that didn't stop him from becoming a West Baltimore gangster in "The Wire" or Nelson Mandela in "Long Walk to Freedom." He's also 6'2" and intimidating enough to be considered for the next James Bond.

4. Winston Duke

Winston Duke plays the Wakandan tribal leader M'Baku in Marvel's "Black Panther" films. (Walt Disney Studios)

Another "Black Panther" alum, Duke is probably the most intimidating actor on the list. He's a towering 6'5" and weighed in at 230 pounds to play the role of M'Baku in the Marvel blockbuster. But he's more than just his size: He's an accomplished actor with roles in Jordan Peele's 2019 horror thriller "Us" and the 2020 fantasy drama "Nine Days," along with a slew of television series credits. An actor with his size and ability would no doubt play a great foil to Teller's Zack Mayo.

5. Isaiah Mustafa

Yes, Isaiah Mustafa is the "Old Spice Guy" but he also has a long list of film and TV credits. (Old Spice)

Yes, the Old Spice guy, also known as "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." On top of a long resume of film and television roles (including 2019's "It Chapter Two" and 2023's "Boy Kills World"), Mustafa is an intimidating 6'4" and was a starting wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils, who went undefeated in the regular season. On screen, he would tower over Teller and probably make him feel like he smells bad.

At this point, some readers might be thinking: "Why not have Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson play Foley? He's intimidating." Yeah, he is intimidating, but for those who never saw "An Officer and a Gentleman" -- spoiler alert -- Mayo and Foley get into a fistfight; this means Teller needs to believe he can take The Rock. Although Military.com did not reach out to Miles Teller and ask whether he thinks he could beat The Rock in a fistfight, it's not something the audience would believe, so our list takes that into account.

The upcoming remake of "An Officer and a Gentleman" is still in development and does not yet have a release date.

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