Top Gun: Maverick has officially dropped, marking the return of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But we’re not talking about Tom Cruise. Val Kilmer was on screen as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in a brief cameo, alongside his old rival Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, 36 years after the original film was released. In a touching scene, the former hotshots reunite in Iceman’s office and the affection seen on their faces didn’t take much acting from either of them – since the role may be Kilmer’s last.
Following a run of successful movies, which includes portraying the Dark Knight in 1995’s Batman Forever, Val Kilmer had to hit the brakes on his career after being diagnosed with throat cancer. The actor made the revelation in 2017 and underwent a tracheotomy that has completely changed his voice. As CNN points out, this is why Top Gun: Maverick may be Kilmer’s final role. His health problems are woven into the movie’s story which adds a heart-wrenching emotional layer to the film.
If Top Gun: Maverick really is Val Kilmer’s last role, it will draw the curtain on one of the most reliable and fascinating careers in Hollywood. The thought of losing one of entertainment’s brightest stars is a little sad, but the cameo alongside Tom Cruise is the perfect post-credits scene. In a recent interview with Page Six, Kilmer’s daughter Mercedes expressed how meaningful it was for her dad to revisit his Top Gun role. She said appearing in the movie meant a lot to the actor as he’s very proud of the original.
Fans that are new to the Top Gun franchise, may not realize just how big of a star Val Kilmer once was. Originally a stage actor, the 62-year-old found fame after appearances in comedy films like Top Secret! and Real Genius in 1984 and 1985 respectively. After landing the role of Iceman in 1986’s Top Gun, he was catapulted into superstardom. His career remained on an upward trajectory, with his movies earning nearly $2 billion at the global box office.
“This is what he loves to do,” she told the publication. “It was trippy and very special for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age.” Additionally, Tom Cruise told Entertainment Tonight about his experience revisiting his role alongside Val Kilmer. The Mission: Impossible star said he really rallied hard for him to be in the movie. He also said you don’t often see the kind of talent Kilmer has, adding that it’s very special.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski from a script by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, Top Gun: Maverick begins 36 years after the events of its popular predecessor. The story follows Maverick, who has managed to continue his career as a test pilot. His choices eventually take him back to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program. Once there he finds himself training a group of graduates for an intense and deadly mission. The movie will be available to stream on Paramount+ just 45 days after its cinematic debut. Val Kilmer fans will not want to miss it.