Without Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick would be less successful and might not have attracted more than 2.4 million viewers in just two weeks in France. Fortunately, Tom Cruise has the advantage of being an international star who can afford to negotiate. And that’s what he did for Top Gun: Maverick by imposing a condition without which he would not have resumed his role as Maverick. What condition? The return of Val Kilmer as the Iceman in Joseph Kosinski’s feature film, despite the actor’s loss of voice.
In the first Top Gun, Tom Cruise is in constant rivalry with the character played by Val Kilmer, Lieutenant Tom Kazansky, aka Iceman. But a powerful friendship ends up linking the two pilots who find themselves in the second part, 35 years later. Between the two films, Val Kilmer lost his voice after a tracheotomy following throat cancer. Despite everything, Tom Cruise struggled for the actor to come back to give him the reply and the producer of Top Gun: MaverickJerry Bruckheimer, explained to People : “We called Val and told him that we wanted to meet him to be in the film. And he was delighted. tom [Cruise] said he wasn’t going to make the movie without him. So the fact that he was able to do it and that he worked with us on the script, the fact that he was there and that he was part of the film was a very emotional day when we filmed it. Because we want to see these two again on the screen, Iceman and Maverick who face each other. And that’s what cinema and audiences love.” In a previous interview with PeopleJerry Bruckheimer had previously said of Val Kilmer’s return: “It really came from him (Tom Cruise, editor’s note). We all wanted him back, but Tom was really adamant that he would do another Top Gun Val had to be there. He’s a great actor and a beautiful person.”
To make the return of Val Kilmer possible, the film crews collaborated with the company Sonantic, which specializes in the artificial creation of voices. Several versions of her voice have been created from archive footage of her career. “We were committed to giving him back his voice, providing a new tool that can help him with whatever creative endeavors he has in the future,” the magazine said. Fortune John Flynn, CEO of Sonantic. A collaboration that paid off and that allowed the actor to deliver a moving reunion scene with Tom Cruise alias Maverick in the sequel to the first Top Gun.