Top Gun Maverick: Tom Cruise Wasn’t Going to Make the Sequel Unless Val Kilmer Was in It

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Top Gun: Maverick producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, has revealed that Tom Cruise insisted Val Kilmer return as Iceman for the sequel. 

This news comes by way of People, which reports that Bruckheimer said Cruise was the driving force behind getting Kilmer back as Iceman in the Top Gun sequel.

Now, more than 35 years later, Top Gun fans will see Cruise’s Maverick and Kilmer’s Iceman reunite on the screen when Top Gun: Maverick debuts in theaters on November 19. 

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“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 said Kilmer is a “fine actor [and] such a good individual,” revealing that watching him and Cruise reunite on set was “very emotional.” The producer continued and explained that bringing back some of the Top Gun gang was something the Maverick team wanted to do. 

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Kilmer’s son, Jack Kilmer, told People that the actor was “so stoked” to return to the role and that Top Gun: Maverick really honors the legacy of Iceman. 

Kilmer has actually been wanting to return as Iceman for years now. When the sequel’s title was revealed back in 2017, Kilmer took to Instagram to express his interest in reprising his original Top Gun role. 

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“I’m ready Tom — still got my Top Gun plaque,” Kilmer said. “Still got the moves! Still got it!” 

Then, a little over a year later, it was reported that Kilmer would, in fact, be returning to the role of Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick. Now, audiences will see Iceman and Maverick on screen together once again when the sequel hits theaters November 19. 

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While waiting for the movie’s release, check out the first Top Gun: Maverick trailer and then read about how the Navy stopped Cruise from flying an actual jet in Top Gun: Maverick. Read about how Kelly McGillis wasn’t asked to return for Top Gun: Maverick after that. 


Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.

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