Tom Cruise Was “Adamant” Val Kilmer Return For ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

When a sequel to Top Gun was announced many years ago, one of the first to say he was involved was Val Kilmer. But was that really true? The film struggled to get going for so long, it’s hard to be sure what was going on through most of it. But one thing we know for sure, Tom Cruise was key to making sure Kilmer got to suit up as “Iceman” once more.

Speaking with People, producer Jerry Bruckheimer spoke about how Cruise was instrumental in Kilmer returning for Top Gun: Maverick. Does that mean we’ll get a new volleyball scene? Um, probably not with these guys and their advanced ages.

“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,’” Bruckheimer said. “And 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.”

While everyone is eager to see Cruise back in the cockpit as Maverick, those who saw the recent Val Kilmer documentary Val will have an altogether different emotional reaction. Kilmer has been going through a lot, battling personal demons in the past and most recently a fight with throat cancer. To have him back for Top Gun: Maverick feels right, and at the right time, too. Personally, I can’t imagine the film without him.

Top Gun: Maverick opens November 19th.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.