Tom Cruise can be my wingman anytime! Top Gun: Maverick director Jerry Bruckheimer revealed what a big role the 59-year-old actor played in making sure Val Kilmer, 61, returned for the sequel to their 1986 hit film, in a new interview with People. A Top Gun sequel without Tom “Iceman” Kazansky wouldn’t feel right, and the director said Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom’s character) himself was pulling to have the actor return.
In the original film, Val’s Iceman and Tom’s Maverick were rivals who grew to respect each other by the end of the movie. Despite the character’s tumultuous relationship, Tom appeared to really enjoy working with Val and knew that he was an important part of the first flick. “He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” Jerry told People. “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.”
Jerry also said that getting to work together again was “very emotional,” and complimented Val’s performance. “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,” he said.
Ahead of the movie’s release, Val has also spoken about how incredible it’s been to get to work on the sequel. He said that it was “absolutely moving” to work with Tom again in an April 2020 interview with Good Morning America. “I really was surprised. And Tom was wearing his jacket, his original jacket from the first movie, it was just very moving,” he said at the time.
Top Gun: Maverick is expected to hit theaters on November 19, after the film was pushed back multiple times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Val and Tom are among the stars from the original coming back. There are plenty of exciting and fresh new faces who have joined the cast for the sequel, according to IMDb. The new actors include Whiplash star Miles Teller, The Good Place actor Manny Jacinto, and even Jon Hamm, who seemed very excited to be in the sequel.