Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer says Tom Cruise “really wanted” Val Kilmer in the sequel Maverick. “He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” Bruckheimer reveals. “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 continues about Val 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.” The reunion was an emotional one, explains Bruckheimer. “It was a really emotional experience for all of us,” he says. “It was a long time getting there, but we did.”
Val Kilmer’s son, Jack, was on the San Diego set with his sister, Mercedes, during shooting and said, “They honor the legacy of Iceman,” and he was so stoked by it. There were “hundreds of extras of real pilots” who over and over declared Top Gun was their inspiration to join the Armed Forces. “They were coming up to us and telling us that the first Top Gun inspired them to join the navy and the air force,” Jack recalls. “Then we had these big F-bomb planes flying overhead. It was like one of the proudest moments of being American that you could think of really.”
Kilmer admitted in his memoir last year, titled ‘I’m Your Huckleberry,’ that the producers for Top Gun: Maverick had not called for his participation. “He was calling it Top Gun: Maverick. Well, Tom was Maverick, but Maverick’s nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper,” Kilmer wrote. “It didn’t matter that the producers didn’t contact me. As the Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘ain’t too proud to beg.'” Turns out he didn’t have to. Cruise insisted if there was going to be a sequel, Val Kilmer would be in it. As Iceman would say, “You can be my wingman any time.”
Tom Cruise and Kilmer will be in good company starring alongside Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm and Miles Teller. The official synopsis reads, “After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign ‘Rooster,’ the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka ‘Goose.’ Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.”& Top Gun: Maverick jets into theaters on November 19. This news comes from People.