Ahead of the release of Top Gun: Maverick, it has been revealed that its star Tom Cruise was determined to make the film with his former co-star Val Kilmer.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has worked on both the original film and its sequel, told People that the star was “adamant” that the new film include Kilmer, who played nemesis-turned-ally Iceman in Top Gun.
“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” Bruckheimer said.
He continued: “He was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he’s going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it.”
Bruckheimer described Kilmer as “a fine actor, and he’s such a good individual”, and said that his reunion with Cruise on the set was “very emotional.”
Kilmer’s son Jack told People that his father was “so stoked” to be back on the set.
The actor lost his voice to throat cancer in 2014, and so he uses Artificial Intelligence to recreate it, which can be heard in the film.
“The ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me,” Kilmer said in a written statement. “The chance to tell my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”
In 2020, Kilmer revealed that he didn’t initially want to appear in the first Top Gun movie, but begged to be in the upcoming reboot.
In his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, he admitted: “I didn’t want the part. I didn’t care about the film. The story didn’t interest me.
“My agent, who also represented Tom Cruise, basically tortured me into at least meeting Tony Scott saying he was one of the hottest directors in town.”
Top Gun: Maverick is due for general release on November 19, 2021.