‘Top Gun: Maverick’ has been released with a bang and not only is Tom Cruise the highest grossing figure, but for Val Kilmer, who is also returning to the film 35 years after the original at 62After recovering from his battle with throat cancer, it has now been revealed that he was also heavily involved in bringing his iconic character back.
This revelation has been directly commented on by director Joseph Kosinski, who revealed the important contribution Kilmer made even before they started shooting during the ReelBlend podcast interview detailing that:
Tom was adamant, Jerry Bruckheimer was adamant. I’m obviously a huge fan of Val Kilmer, not only as Iceman, but also in Tombstone and Heat. The opportunity to work with him is a dream come true. And having him in a movie like Iceman was pretty epic. Jerry and I called Val. We brought him in, we talked to him about the movie, and it was Val who really figured out how he could be in it. Then we worked very hard on the scene and on that relationship. It’s great because they were rivals in the first movie. Obviously, we have that last scene in the first movie where that rivalry turns into friendship. And now we get to see 35 years later how that friendship has evolved, how Iceman is his wingman and is always looking out for Maverick.”
Maverick and Iceman were two great memorable rivals in ‘Top Gun’ but in the final moments of the film their relationship changes. Tom Cruise “went to great lengths” for the actor to be in the sequelJoseph Kosinski adds:
“It was a very emotional scene to shoot for Tom, for Val, for all of us who were there. You get to see two legends in their prime in one scene together. And you get to see Tom, what an incredible actor he is. …because we’re talking about the stunts that he does. But look at his career… his first 10 years, look at the kind of movies he was doing. Look at who he was working with, you know? It’s amazing to see him really leaning into that side of things. what he’s capable of doing with another legend. It’s obviously one of those few days on set that I’ll never forget.”
‘Top Gun’ was Val Kilmer’s third film, he repeatedly claimed the film was “dumb” and was only due to his contract with Paramount Pictures, but years later Kilmer campaigned for a role in the ‘possible sequel’. The actor has had a reputation for being difficult and there was real tension with Tom Cruise on the first shoot, as he wanted to follow the method and “deliberately play on the rivalry“. At the end of 2017, Val Kilmer revealed his two-year fight against throat cancer, with chemotherapy and two tracheostomies after which uses an electric larynx in his windpipe so he can speak and needs a feeding tube to eat.For ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ his voice was recreated with AI technology.