Is Val Kilmer in Top Gun 2? Actor’s illness explained

Val Kilmer has revealed he “begged” the producers to return as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick

With Tom Cruise returning as Navy pilot “Maverick,” audiences wondered if Val Kilmer would reprise Maverick’s enemy Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky following his cancer diagnosis in 2014.

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However, he has said that he “begged” producers to come back with AI technology to help him.

Who is Val Kilmer?

American actor Val Kilmer is best known for appearing in comedy films Top Secret! and Real Genius before starring in the blockbusters Top Gun and Batman Forever.

He had high profile previous relationships with Cindy Crawford, Angelina Jolie and Cher to name a few before marrying English actress Joanna Whalley in 1988, with whom he co-starred in the film Willow.

The couple had two children, Mercedes and Jack, before divorcing in 1996.

Val Kilmer will reprise Iceman in Top Gun 2 (Image: Getty)

The 62-year-old has a net worth of $25 million from a career spanning four decades and was blacklisted by Hollywood after being labeled “difficult to work with”.

Kilmer released an autobiography, I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir, in 2020, titled after his famous line from the 1993 film Tombstone, which talks about his career and his cancer diagnosis.

What illness did Val Kilmer have?

In 2014, Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent emergency surgery after waking up coughing up blood and having trouble breathing.

The Top Gun star had a tracheotomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation to fight the disease.

Since Kilmer was struggling financially, his ex-girlfriend Cher paid for his treatment and took care of him all the time.

Cher and Val Kilmer were in a relationship through his illness (Picture: Getty)

After treatment, he has no voice after surgery and has scars on his neck, which he often hides with scarves.

But the actor was keen to return to the Top Gun sequel despite the obstacles.

Will “Iceman” Return in Top Gun: Maverick, and What Did Kilmer Say?

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Val Kilmer revealed that he “begged” the producers of Top Gun: Maverick to reprise his character, using artificial intelligence technology to voice him.

British AI company Sonantic used voice overs from Kilmer’s career to deliver Iceman’s speech.

He said: “Tom was Maverick, but Maverick’s nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper.

“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 bebe.”

Val Kilmer as Iceman and Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun (1986) (Image: Getty)

“After the treatment, my voice as I knew it was taken away. People around me struggle to understand me when I speak, but despite everything, I still feel like the same person.”

Val uses AI software to speak in his daily life, similar to the upcoming film, and his son Jack was touched after hearing his father’s voice for the first time in years.

“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic for masterfully restoring my voice in a way I never thought possible,” said Val.

“Being able to tell my story in a voice that feels authentic and familiar is an incredibly special gift.” Is Val Kilmer in Top Gun 2? Actor’s illness explained


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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