There’ve been rumors, for almost as long as I can remember, about how difficult Val Kilmer is to work with. It’s hard not to believe them, when you look at his filmography. The man is without question one of the best actors in Hollywood, and not so long ago was also a top drawing leading man. Yet his most noteworthy roles in the past five years were as a villain in MacGruber and as the voice of K.I.T.T. on NBC’s failed Knight Rider reboot. He did have a nice supporting part in Bad Lieutenant, but no one seemed to notice. That’s depressing.

It’s not that Kilmer isn’t working, he does three or four movies a year, they’re just terrible direct to DVD throwaways or easily ignored, low-budget leftovers. Val Kilmer may be difficult to work with, I don’t know I haven’t even met the man, but to me he seems like he’s worth the effort. Maybe this will be his first step on the road back to respectability, because What’s Playing says he’s doing a thriller called Seven Below Zero.

It’s not a Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang sequel, which is really what I’d rather see him doing, but it is described as a “sexy horror movie” which is a step up from the usual “awful slasher movie” he’s seemed headed for. Kilmer’s 52 and not exactly a sex symbol anymore, but he’s such a good actor I think he can still work it.

The bad news is thatSeven Below Zero co-stars one of the kids from Twilight (Charlie Bewly) and Ving Rhames who, for the most part, finds his career in much the same place as Kilmer. Except at least Ving Rhames did Piranha 3D, a movie which a great many people found to be pretty cool. Still, Rhames’ recent filmography isn’t much better than Kilmer’s and his presence may indicate that this isn’t so much a step up for Kilmer as a lateral move. Here’s hoping that’s not true. You’ll always be my Huckleberry, Gay Perry.

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