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How Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick Gave Val Kilmer His Voice Back

Top Gun: Maverick is among the major films that have been postponed by the Covid epidemic, with a release date set for 2020, just as the virus began to spread. Nevertheless, the film’s release over Memorial Weekend seems to have been definitely worth the journey, with Tom Cruise having his best opening weekend by a great margin. Tom Cruise allegedly only had one casting request from the studio in discussing his comeback for Top Gun: Maverick. It was to bring back his old co-star Val Kilmer as Iceman.

Val Kilmer’s role in Top Gun: Maverick:

Actor Val Kilmer in Top Gun.
Actor Val Kilmer in Top Gun.

Val Kilmer had been rumored to be reprising his part in the Top Gun sequel for quite some time. However, due to the actor’s loss of voice following throat cancer treatment in 2014, it was unclear how his reappearance would play out. As it turns out, his real-life struggles have been mirrored in his role, as Iceman is also fighting cancer and interacts through typing in the film. Kilmer, on the other hand, had one line of conversation that was constructed using artificial intelligence in a mirror of his real-life circumstance.

Related: Tom Cruise Thanks Fans for Top Gun: Maverick’s Legendary Box Office Opening Weekend

Val Kilmer’s battle with cancer:

Val Kilmer with throat cancer.
Val Kilmer with throat cancer.

Val Kilmer made his glorious comeback 36 years later in the sequel “Top Gun: Maverick,” after originally appearing as Lt. Tom Iceman Kazansky in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. He presently portrays an admiral in the 2022 movie. As per The New York Times Magazine, Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014. He lost his voice after undergoing multiple procedures, including a tracheotomy.  After disputing allegations of his sickness, Kilmer finally revealed his condition in 2017. Last year, the actor collaborated with Sonantic, a London-based tech firm, to re-create his legendary voice for the sequel using AI software. Sonantic then repurposed old Kilmer’s voice tapes to make it appear as if he was talking in the movie.

Related: 5 Reasons Val Kilmer Was An Awesome Batman – Animated Times

Film producer Jerry Bruckheimer about Kilmer:

Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.
Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.

Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie’s producer, indicated that Tom Cruise was the motivating factor for Kilmer’s comeback for the sequel in an August interview with People. “He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” Bruckheimer told People. “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. Bruckheimer continued of Kilmer: “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”.

In the same interview, Kilmer’s son, Jack Kilmer, expressed his father’s enthusiasm for the project. “They honor the legacy of Iceman, and he was so stoked by it,” the younger Kilmer said.

Related: “Straight From the Heart”: Top Gun: Maverick Reunion With Tom Cruise Was Super Emotional for Val Kilmer

Written by Alfeeya Pathan

22. Passionate about reading, even more about writing. Come have a look at my amazing hobby-turned-career!