Top Gun: Maverick Is Bringing Back A Key Character

Val Kilmer in Top Gun

It's been over 30 years since we last flew with Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun, but soon we'll be back in the air with one of cinema's most famous pilots. Last week, production on Top Gun: Maverick, officially kicked off, but aside from Tom Cruise reprising Maverick, the sequel's cast has been kept under wraps. However, now we've learned of another character who will be gracing the silver screen, and it's a familiar face: Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, once again played by Val Kilmer.

According to The Wrap, Val Kilmer has signed on to star opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick. While Paramount Pictures declined to comment on Kilmer's casting, the actor has reportedly been spotted in the San Diego hotel that the studio has been using since production began. Those who've been following along with Top Gun: Maverick's progress know that Kilmer had expressed interest in reprising Iceman in the sequel, and months later, it looks like his involvement is a done deal.

Of all the Top Gun characters who could show up in Top Gun: Maverick, Iceman seemed like he would be the most likely candidate. After all, Maverick's wingman, Anthony Edwards' Goose, died in the first movie, and Kelly McGillis isn't expected to reprise Charlie Blackwood. In Top Gun, Maverick and Iceman were rivals, but by the end of the movie, they'd developed a respect for one another. With at least 30 years having passed between the original movie and the sequel, who knows how if they've stayed in contact during all that time or if Top Gun: Maverick will mark the first meaningful interaction they've had since they graduated. Val Kilmer's credits in recent years have included Planes, Song to Song and The Snowman.

The only official plot information that has come out so far about Top Gun: Maverick is that it will see Maverick mentoring a new generation of U.S. Navy fighter pilots. Unofficially, it's been reported that the story will see Maverick meeting Goose's son, Wrigley (callsign Riot), who will be a member of the Top Gun class being taught by Tom Cruise's principal character. However, initially these two will have an antagonistic dynamic, but as the story progresses, they patch things up, and Maverick will supposedly have to save Wrigley after the latter's ejected into enemy territory. We'll have to wait and see if these details are accurate, but as far as Val Kilmer is concerned, I would imagine that like Maverick, he'll be an instructor imparting wisdom to these rookie pilots.

Directed by Tron: Legacy's Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters on July 12, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates. As for what this year has in store theatrically, you can find release date information in our 2018 premiere guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.