Val Kilmer told Tom Cruise that he could be his wingman at any given time in 1986. While its been over 30 years to the first installment of Top Gun, the sequel portrays a different Iceman. In Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise is called back into action while the same couldn’t be said about his wingman, Iceman. Due to Iceman’s health issues, he couldn’t continue to be the living legend he is. Although Top Gun: Maverick payed Val Kilmer a massive tribute through a sole scene.
As most of you might not know, Val Kilmer actually has a tube in his throat. That’s because he underwent two tracheotomies whilst treating his throat cancer in 2015. Fortunately, Kilmer stood successful in the face of threat but he lost the ability to speak properly. That’s so unfortunate for the Iceman actor. Top Gun: Maverick didn’t try to conceal the truth and instead amalgamated his situation into Iceman’s story.
Tom “The Iceman” Kazansky
In Top Gun: Maverick Tom “The Iceman” Kazansky, who is now an admiral an commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is the one protecting his old friend and rival from being dismissed. Quintessential Maverick is still breaking laws and regulations but Iceman is his guardian angel. Hence even it was Iceman who gave the recommendation to bring back Maverick to Top Gun. Except this time Maverick was returning as a teacher and not a pilot. He is assigned to train a group of young pilots in order to accomplish a dangerous mission. However, Maverick finds little to no luck while going through with Rooster (Miles Teller), the son of his late friend Goose. In order to win back his trust, Maverick goes to Iceman for advise.
Unluckily, Iceman’s throat cancer is getting more lethal and his wife tells Maverick its even painful for Iceman to speak now. Kilmer didn’t have any significant verbal dialogues, he continued to converse with Maverick through typing on his computer. He sympathetically nods when Maverick tells him that Rooster is still angry with Goose’s death. He further assures Maverick that Rooster will come round to his idea. After that, Maverick asks Iceman to send him on the mission in place of Rooster. He smiles sadly and types on his computer: “It’s time to let go.”
Everything Will Be Fine Old Friend
Then Maverick breaks and starts confessing that he’s afraid that he might lose Rooster forever as well. This is the point where Iceman finally speaks in his rough voice. He ensures Maverick that the Navy and Rooster, both need Maverick and thats the exact reason as to why he fought for him. The old friends then share a hug and that scene definitely brings the audience to tears. Then Iceman induces a bit of humour to calm the situation. Shedding light on their former rivalry, Iceman asks Maverick: “Who’s the better pilot, you or me?” to which Maverick then replies, “This is a nice moment, lets not ruin it.”
Did you know that it was Kilmer who came up with the idea of including his health issue into the movie according to director Joseph Kosinski.
“It was Val who came up with the idea that Iceman was sick too, so he could integrate into the story in a way that felt authentic and not something that we were trying to hide.” Kosinski stated in an interview during the promotions.