Cruise, 59, starred in the 1986 film as "Maverick," and his nemesis, "Iceman," was played Kilmer, 62.
Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and Tom "Iceman" Kazansky are back!
It's been 36 years since we saw the nemeses in the 1986 film Top Gun. In the first movie directed by Tony Scott, audiences saw Maverick butt head with fellow Iceman before the pair ultimately reconcile their differences and become an effective team. Now actors Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are returning on screen for the sequel. Top Gun: Maverick will finally premiere on May 27 after being postponed due to COVID-19, reports PEOPLE.
The sequel also stars Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell and Jennifer Connelly along with Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Lewis Pullman, Greg Tarzan Davis and Danny Ramirez.
At the May 4 premiere at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Cruise arrived with a bang to promote the film in a helicopter. The actor spoke to Entertainment Tonight about his experience reprising his role alongside Kilmer. "I really rallied hard for him to make the movie," Cruise said of his co-star. "The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene, it's very special, it's just very special," he continued, speaking of a particularly powerful part in the film.
We're not sure how much screen time Kilmer will have but it'll definitely be heartwarming to see the actor return to the big screen alongside Cruise.
Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017 and underwent a tracheotomy. As part of his treatment, the actor lost his speaking voice. “Tom said, ‘I’m not making the movie without Val,’ and of course we had to talk to Val; he was up to it, he helped create the scene with us,” recalled producer Jerry Bruckheimer of the actor to The Hollywood Reporter. “It was a very emotional day — you saw Maverick and Iceman back onscreen again after 36 years.”
Kilmer himself has created some buzz for the release of the film, sharing the official trailer on his Twitter account and ending the tweet with "#iceman signing off".
Bruckheimer also told PEOPLE last year that Cruise "really wanted" Kilmer in the new film. "He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'" Bruckheimer said. "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." He 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."
Tom Cruise Says He 'Really Rallied Hard' for Val Kilmer Reunion in Top Gun: Maverick https://t.co/UlpXYZ8qQS— People (@people) May 10, 2022
Kilmer wrote about his reaction to the announcement of the sequel in his memoir last year, titled I'm Your Huckleberry. "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.'"
Top Gun: Maverick releases in theaters May 27.