The casting has been long-in-the-making as it was one year ago that Kilmer offered himself up for the role on Instagram after hearing that Top Gun 2 was officially happening. “Friends said it’s official,” Kilmer wrote in the caption of a selfie he posted to the social media app, in which he wears a t-shirt bearing the face of his character, Tom Kazansky. “#TOPGUN2 was announced today. I’m ready Tom- still got my top gun plaque! Still got the moves! Still got it!” Clearly, Cruise and sequel director Joseph Kosinski heard his offer, as Kilmer’s role in the reboot has just been announced, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the news was just delivered today that he was officially co-starring in the sequel, Kilmer quietly confirmed his role last year during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. When one curious fan asked if he’d be returning as the Iceman, Kilmer replied with, “Hell yes. What a hoot it will be…”
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 Reporter last 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.”
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.