Tom Cruise was ‘adamant’ Val Kilmer be in ‘Top Gun’ sequel as film’s release is pushed back again

Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Tom Cruise felt the need for Val Kilmer.

In the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” Cruise portrayed protagonist Pete "Maverick" Mitchell with Kilmer as his rival Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

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When plans to make the film’s sequel first began, Cruise, 59, insisted there couldn’t be a second movie without Kilmer’s involvement.

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In a new interview with People, producer Jerry Bruckheimer explained how Cruise was the “driving force” to have Kilmer in "Top Gun: Maverick."

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

Speaking to Kilmer’s talents, Bruckheimer added: "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."

Both Cruise and Kilmer will reprise their roles in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

On Wednesday, Paramount announced it was pushing back the film’s release from Nov. 19, 2021 to May 27, 2022, in part due to the surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant, reported EW.

The film has suffered several pandemic delays and has seen its premiere pushed back more than a half-dozen times since it was initially set to hit theaters on July 12, 2019. Production on the movie wrapped in early 2019.

Besides Cruise and Kilmer, the sequel features Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, and Jon Hamm. Kelly McGillis, who was the female lead in the original film, previously said she was not asked to appear in the sequel.

Fans will still have to wait until Memorial Day Weekend 2022 to catch Maverick and Iceman back together again.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images