Tom Cruise Fought To Have One Actor Return In Top Gun 2

By Doug Norrie | 2 weeks ago

When Top Gun: Maverick finally hits the big screen later this fall we will return to the world of Naval aviation and, of course, the incredible need for speed. The film is set to have Tom Cruise reprise his iconic and titular role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in a follow-up story to the original. And according to an interview that Jerry Bruckheimer did with People Magazine, Cruise was adamant about another actor returning to his role from the original film. Cruise insisted that Val Kilmer come back and that they honor the story of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. 

According to the interview with Jerry Bruckheimer who produced both the original 1986 movie as well as this long-awaited sequel, Tom Cruise was instrumental in ensuring Val Kilmer’s return to the mix. Bruckheimer said that Cruise was determined to make sure Kilmer returned to the role in some fashion and that the star made it happen by reaching out to Kilmer and guaranteeing the role was part of the story. While Cruise’s Maverick will return to the cockpit in this next movie, Kilmer’s Kazansky has been promoted to Admiral in this world meaning we aren’t likely to see the two enter any new dogfights together. 

It isn’t clear how big of a role Val Kilmer will have in Top Gun: Maverick with the actor not appearing in the trailers outside of footage from the original film that serves the story by way of flashback. But Bruckheimer also said that Tom Cruise and Kilmer were reunited on screen in this next movie, calling the reunion “very emotional” for both the actors and the rest of the cast and crew as well. 

tom cruise

Tom Cruise has seen a number of delays for Top Gun: Maverick which was originally supposed to hit the big screen all the way back in July of 2019. The flick was promptly moved to a 2020 summer date when it ran into some production and timing snags. But then the pandemic hit which threw the entirety of the Hollywood moviemaking schedule into disarray. That meant another rescheduling and now it will finally hit the big screen on November 19th of this year. 

It looks like Top Gun: Maverick will pick things back up 34 years after the original with Tom Cruise an instructor at Top Gun and still flying fighter jets well beyond the typical prescriptive timeline for these pilots. While Val Kilmer reprises his original role, most of the rest of the faces are new including Miles Teller who will play Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards’ Goose who tragically died in the original movie. The relationship between Cruise and Teller is sure to be central to the overall film. 

In addition to bringing the Top Gun franchise into the modern-day, Tom Cruise is also at work on the next Mission: Impossible movies with the seventh installment currently filming. Cruise, who never seems to age, is still pulling off high-intensity films even though he is pushing 60 years old. When the original Top Gun came out it would have seemed inconceivable to get Cruise still in the cockpit all these decades later, but the dude remains at the top of his game.