Tom Cruise 'Rallied Hard' For Val Kilmer To Return In 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Elizabeth Spina
Tom Cruise on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
youtube | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Tom Cruise said that he "rallied hard" for Val Kilmer to be in the upcoming film Top Gun: Maverick.

ICYMI, Cruise, and Kilmer are reprising their roles from their iconic 1986 movie, Top Gun. Cruise recently revealed that he insisted Kilmer be in the sequel after overcoming throat cancer.

Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer have reprised their iconic 1986 roles in the film "Top Gun: Maverick" — now in theaters.

Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in "Top Gun", 1986
youtube | Paramount Pictures Studios

This month, the Top Gun duo are "back together again" on the big screen.

While recently speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Cruise opened up about reuniting with his "Top Gun" co-star.

This role will be a huge milestone for Kilmer, who has been surviving a grueling battle with throat cancer for the last seven years.

In 2021, the 62-year-old actor revealed that he was declared cancer-free after six years of radiation, chemotherapy treatments, and a tracheostomy that permanently damaged his speaking voice.

"Now that it's more difficult to speak, I want to tell my story more than ever," he told People.

"I obviously am sounding much worse than I feel," he said, before explaining that in order to talk he has to plug the open hole in his throat.

Val Kilmer 2020 interview with ET Canada
youtube | ET Canada

"I can't speak without plugging this hole [in his throat]. You have to make the choice to breathe or to eat," he said. "It's an obstacle that is very present with whoever sees me."

After seeing the new "Top Gun" film, Kilmer's daughter, Mercedes, told People that seeing her dad back on set was very "special."

Val Kilmer in "Top Gun", 1986
Paramount Pictures Studios | Paramount Pictures Studios

"It means a lot to my dad as he's very proud of that film. This is what he loves to do," she said.

She added that it was bizarre to see him with people he has been friends with since he was her age.

"It was trippy and very special for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age," she said.

For Tom Cruise, getting Kilmer to reprise his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky was crucial for the film.

Tom Cruise on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
youtube | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

"I really rallied hard for him to make the movie," Cruise told Entertainment Tonight. "The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene, it's very special, it's just very special."

In 2021, the film's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, said that Cruise "really wanted" Kilmer to be in the movie.

"He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'" Bruckheimer explained. "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'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," Bruckheimer continued.

Val Kilmer in 2013 Larry King interview
youtube | Larry King

"It was a really emotional experience for all of us. It was a long time getting there, but we did," he added.