Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise reuniting with Top Gun 2

Tom Cruise has found a familiar wingman for Top Gun 2.

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Val Kilmer is set to return as Maverick’s (Cruise) former rival Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, EW has confirmed.

In the original 1986 film, Kilmer starred as Tom Kazanasky (code name: Iceman), a fellow Navy pilot who clashes with Cruise’s Pete Mitchell. But by the end of Top Gun, the duo has developed a mutual respect for each other.

Tom Cruise teased the beginning of production on director Joseph Kosinski’s sequel by sharing of a photo of himself back in uniform. Kilmer, who has battled throat cancer in recent years, previously announced a Top Gun return in 2015, before admitting hours later that he had “jumped the gun.”

In the same AMA, Kilmer also revealed that he had been battling throat cancer, which has altered his voice. “My tongue is still swollen although healing all the time,” he said. “Because I don’t sound [like] my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather.” Kilmer later spoke about how the experience changed him, through all of the reflecting he did on his career. “Fame is sort of a mess,” he told The Hollywood Reporterlast December. “You get treated differently, but it doesn’t have anything to do with who you actually are… I was too serious. I’d get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way.”

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With Top Gun 2, Kilmer may have another shot at awards season, as the original film received Oscar nominations for Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. From what director Kosinski has said, Top Gun: Maverick will hold a mirror up to our present-day. “The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986,” he previously revealed. “It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt, [but] I certainly want to re-create the experience of that movie, which gives you a front seat into the world of naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet.” The movie is scheduled to arrive July 12, 2019.

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