Tom Cruise Pushed For Val Kilmer’s Return In Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun Maverick
Image via Skydance Media

Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 7 has faced so many setbacks, delays, viral incidents and speculative gossip during a torturous shoot that’s stretched on for over eighteen months that it’s easy to forget the A-list megastar has a new movie coming out later this year, one that sees him reprising another of his iconic roles.

Top Gun: Maverick wrapped production in April 2019, but isn’t coming to theaters until November 19th after bouncing around the release calendar on multiple occasions due to the effects of the pandemic. It’s been a long time coming, with Tony Scott’s classic original celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer, and it’s incredible to think that Cruise is still as big a star now as he was back then, which is some serious longevity in an industry defined by trends and crazes.

The footage we’ve seen in the various trailers and TV spots looks jaw-dropping, with director Joseph Kosinski’s stunning visuals outlining that Maverick isn’t going to be anything resembling a glorious cheese-fest set to the strains of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, something that wonderfully characterized the original.

The long-awaited second installment isn’t going too hard on nostalgia, with most of the connective tissue provided by Miles Teller as the son of Pete Mitchell’s late best friend Goose, with Val Kilmer also returning as Iceman, now a four-star Admiral and Chief of Navy Operations. In a new interview, producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that it was Cruise who pushed hard for Kilmer’s involvement in Top Gun: Maverick.

“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film’. 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. He’s such a fine actor, and he’s such a good individual. We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again. It was a really emotional experience for all of us. It was a long time getting there, but we did.”

Top Gun

Kilmer has been in the news recently thanks to acclaimed documentary Val that chronicles his life and career with no holds barred, and it’s going to be quite the experience to see Iceman and Maverick coming face-to-face again when Top Gun: Maverick hits the big screen.