Popular for his role in the Top Gun film series as Iceman Val Kilmer has carved a distinctive path throughout his career. He has featured in multiple films and TV shows throughout his acting career and has continued his work even after being diagnosed with throat cancer, which has impacted his health and his ability to speak as well. Despite that, the 63-year-old actor reprised his role in the Top Gun sequel marking his reunion with the action star Tom Cruise.
However, Kilmer initially denied the offer to portray Iceman in the 1986 action flick. And not only Top Gun, but he would later also refuse to star alongside Cruise in the 2004 crime thriller Collateral.
Val Kilmer Initially Turned Down the Offer For Top Gun
In his 2020 memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, Val Kilmer shared that initially, he was not interested in taking Iceman’s part in the 1986 film. The actor shared that the director of the film Tony Scott was eager to meet him, and his agent, who was also Tom Cruise’s agent at the time, suggested at least meeting Scott.
However, he claimed that he didn’t want the part as he “didn’t care about the film” and “the story didn’t interest [him].” But his agent was able to convince him as Tony Scott was among the “hottest directors” at the time, and considering the director’s enthusiasm toward his project, he also agreed to take the role.
The decision turned out in the actor’s favor as his role in Top Gun propelled him among the A-list stars of Hollywood. And when he received a call from Tom Cruise to reprise his role in the sequel of the 1986 film Top Gun: Maverick, he immediately accepted the offer.
The Batman Forever actor shared that he enjoyed filming the reunion with the on-screen nemesis in the Top Gun sequel. Not just for their characters, both Cruise and Kilmer were also seen together on-screen over three decades later after the 1986 film Top Gun. However, the two could have shared the screen years before the 2022 film.
Val Kilmer Almost Starred in Collateral (2004)
Starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, the 2004 thriller, Collateral, follows a taxi driver, Max, who gets a shock after learning that his passenger is a deadly hitman. The film features Cruise as the hitman Vincent, who is on a mission to assassinate five people in one night.
Variety reported that Val Kilmer was also considered for an undisclosed role in the 2004 film, as it revealed Jada Pinkett Smith’s casting in the movie. However, soon after the initial report, it was revealed that the Willow actor would not join the Mission Impossible star in the 2004 thriller.
He had to leave the film due to filming schedule conflicts, as he was already busy filming Oliver Stone’s war adventure, Alexander. Reports suggested that Kilmer was only in talks for the role of Detective Fanning in the 2004 film, but he did not officially join the cast of the movie. The part of Detective Fanning later went to the Marvel star Mark Ruffalo.