Val Kilmer Celebrates Top Gun: Maverick Appearance: ‘I’m Still Your Wingman’

Top Gun: Maverick is now the highest grossing domestic movie of the year, overtaking Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and part of the film’s success with critics and audiences has been down to the emotional core of the movie. There is no denying that a small but integral part of that comes from the on-screen reunion between Tom Cruise’s Maverick and Val Kilmer’s Iceman, a moment that Kilmer shared on his social media account.

The official image was released a little while ago, but Kilmer wanted to share it himself to commemorate his role in the film, and along with the shot, he added the comment, “36 years later… I’m still your wingman <3.” For many fans, it is Kilmer’s return to the franchise that has been the icing on the cake in the sequel that has defied the odds to be not only a huge movie in its own right, but has outperformed its predecessor in every way possible.

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Kilmer’s appearance in Top Gun: Maverick is not extensive, but it does set up a moment that seems to have sold the movie as one of the greatest sequels of all time. While the movie has a number of links to its past, including references to other characters and the inclusion of Goose’s son as a semi-antagonist for Cruise’s Maverick to deal with, Kilmer’s Iceman is seen to have suffered the same cancer as the actor in real life, leading to his line in the movie being recreated electronically. All in all, the circumstances around Kilmer’s appearance in the movie have given a deeper emotional chord to the proceedings that have only helped the film grab the attention of audiences.

Val Kilmer Has Revealed How Special It Was To Return To The Franchise

For a while there was a lot of doubt about whether Kilmer would be able to make an appearance in the movie, after he was left without a voice and in ill-health following his battle with throat cancer and the subsequent treatment. However, now the movie is here, there seems like no world in which Kilmer would not have been part of the production, and the actor has revealed in a number of interviews that there has always been a strong bond between the stars and crew of Top Gun, and that is something that carried over into the belated sequel.

In one moment of reminiscence, Kilmer said, “My main joy was the camaraderie of the cast, [producers] Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, along with the incredible, unflappable enthusiasm of Tony Scott and Tom Cruise. My crew was Rick Rossovich [who played “Slider”], the funniest strong man in show business back then, and Barry Tubb [“Wolfman”]… Oh, we all laughed till we fell down the hot, spiked crabgrass at the Holiday Inn in San Diego.”

He also added that joining Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick was “like being reunited with a long lost friend.” While some legacy sequels have had success but not added much to the original movie, Top Gun: Maverick has broken that trend by enhancing the Top Gun legacy, and making that bond from the original movie just as strong now almost four decades later.