Val Kilmer Has A Funny Idea For A Post-Top Gun: Maverick Acting Gig Following His Tracheotomy

Val Kilmer in MacGruber

In the last few years, Val Kilmer has remained active as an actor, making movies like The Snowman, Jay And Silent Bob Reboot, and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, but in his personal life he has also been dealing with some health issues. A couple years ago he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and earlier this year he underwent a tracheotomy as part of his treatment. It sounds like a really scary situation, but the positive news is that Kilmer is in high spirits following the operation, and is making jokes about one day making a project where he plays "the oldest man on Earth."

Following his surgery, Val Kilmer did a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight to update fans on his condition, and while his voice definitely doesn't sound like it used to, he is most definitely in high spirits. This was something that he directly referenced when asked about how he is presently, and Kilmer responded,

I'm doing terrific. I sound like I've been run over by a cement mixer, [but] I feel fabulous. Some days are better than others, but I am very much improving, so, yeah, I'm going to work till I'm 150 years. I wanna play the oldest man on Earth.

What he's hoping for here would be pretty remarkable if it were to come to fruition, but as realistically doubtful as nine more decades of performances is, it's great that he is in such high spirits after his operation and is so excited to jump back into working again.

We were originally supposed to see Val Kilmer's big blockbuster comeback as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in Top Gun: Maverick this summer, however, those plans all got flushed away a few months ago when theaters were forced to shut down and just about all of Hollywood's big plans were put on hold. For a time Paramount Pictures was hopeful that the sequel could be a December 2020 release, but they've since nixed that plan, and it will now come out on July 2, 2021, almost exactly a year after its originally intended summer 2020 date.

Unfortunately at this time there is not much that we can say about Kilmer's role in the upcoming movie, as that part of the film is being kept as a particularly well-guarded secret. So long as the movie provides at least one scene where he comes face-to-face with Tom Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, though, it's fair to say that Top Gun fans will probably leave theaters with at least a modest feeling of satisfaction.

We here at CinemaBlend are sending best wishes to Val Kilmer during his recovery, and look forward to seeing his work back on the big screen soon – regardless of whether or not he is portraying the oldest man on Earth.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.