Val Kilmer’s voice is featured prominently in the forthcoming Top Gun sequel, thanks to artificial intelligence. Scientists used artificial intelligence to create a computer-generated facsimile of Kilmer’s voice that could read his lines. Top Gun: Maverick does a good job of preserving the heritage of the original film, especially the friendship between Maverick and Iceman, which serves as a fitting tribute to Val Kilmer.
Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise, returns as the lead in Top Gun: Maverick. With Miles Teller playing Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s old wingman, Goose, Cruise is joined by a slew of new pilots. In a tiny role, Val Kilmer reprises his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, who has risen through the ranks of the Navy to become a four-star admiral after the events of Top Gun.
Iceman gets no screen time in the opening act of Top Gun: Maverick, but his presence is felt. The admiral communicates with Captain Mitchell via text messages or with lower-ranking Navy members executing his commands. Because Iceman is the only reason Maverick gets welcomed back to TopGun, he must appear in the film. Given that Iceman is one of the most important Navy officers, it’s understandable that he isn’t seen very often, but some viewers may have been concerned that he wouldn’t appear because Val Kilmer doesn’t appear in the Maverick trailers in person.
With Ed Harris’ Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain and other Navy officers against Maverick because he’s a risky pilot, Iceman is the only high-ranking officer who supports him. The chat between the two veterans plays on the fact that Iceman is Maverick’s employer, but what really important is the friendship between the two lifetime friends.
Val Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 and underwent multiple trachea procedures as a result. Kilmer’s ability to speak was hampered by the operations, which explains why Iceman doesn’t say much in Top Gun 2. Iceman communicates with a computer screen for the most of his part in Top Gun: Maverick. Val Kilmer can talk using an artificial voice box in real life, but this isn’t used in Maverick, however he does say one phrase to Captain Mitchell before leaving. Kilmer published Val, a documentary about his life and work, in 2021, which also depicts how he has adjusted to life since his cancer recovery.
Considering Top Gun Maverick had been delayed for so long, there were legitimate concerns that the picture might fall short of the original. Despite this, critics and general audiences alike have overwhelmingly good reactions to Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick has received accolades for successfully introducing multiple interesting new characters, as well as for its surprisingly poignant narrative and, of course, the adrenaline-fueled aerobatic acrobatics.