When Tom Cruise set out to make Top Gun: Maverick, a daunting task considering the original Top Gun is a beloved ’80s classic, he “railed hard” for one very specific element to return: Val Kilmer. The prolific actor famously played Tom “Iceman” Kazanzky in the first film, and Cruise was adamant that his character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell reunite with his rival-turned-friend Iceman.
Cruise has already revealed that Iceman is the one who gets Maverick back in action in the heavily-anticipated sequel, and during the London premiere, he gushed about working with Kilmer again.
“It was lovely. The whole experience, you know, 36 years to make this film. There were so many moments in making it that were very special, incredibly unique,” Cruise told Metro. “He’s an actor that I greatly admire, so it was wonderful.”
Reuniting Cruise and Kilmer was also a moving experience for producer David Ellison, who couldn’t believe the cameo was actually happening:
‘The first movie made me want to become a pilot. This was the first movie when we originally started working with Paramount 12 years ago we said we wanted to make,’ he said. ‘So to see the two of them on set, the emotion that people hopefully get from that scene, was how it felt to be on set. It was a surreal experience.’
Due to lingering health problems from a grueling battle with throat cancer, Kilmer was not present for the film’s London premiere. However, Iceman was there in spirit as he praised Cruise and the film’s royal reception on Twitter:
“Congratulations old pal. Well deserved reception,” Kilmer tweeted. “Here’s looking forward to another 36 years of fun!”
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) May 19, 2022
Top Gun: Maverick barrel rolls into theaters on May 27, and God, we can’t wait to see this one. It’s supposed to be pretty good! Sorry, gushing over.