TOP GUN: MAVERICK Director Joe Kosinski On Reuniting Tom Cruise's Maverick & Val Kilmer's Iceman (Exclusive)

Before he returned for Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise wanted to ensure that his original co-star Val Kilmer would also be back in some capacity. Director Joe Kosinski walks us through the big reunion.

While negotiating his return for Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise reportedly only had one ask from the studio in terms of casting and that was to bring back his original co-star Val Kilmer as Iceman. 

Paramount has been wisely keeping his involvement in the movie a secret, for the most part, but we can assure you that Ice does have a very pivotal role to play in the movie, always willing to lend a helping hand to Maverick and get him out of the jams he always finds himself in. 

Due to Kilmer's recovery from throat cancer costing the acclaimed actor his voice, he was only able to physically appear in one single scene opposite Cruise, but it's undoubtedly the blockbuster's biggest and most emotional moment. 

Talking to director Joseph Kosinski earlier this month, he told me more about how the day went and how incredible it was to watch these two icons share the screen for the first time in over thirty years.

"It was incredible to see them both playing - two actors of that caliber - playing their most iconic roles, reunited on screen for the first time since Top Gun, obviously, a very emotional scene, and a very emotional day. They were both in great spirits. They have so much respect for each other, as actors, but yeah, it was a very memorable emotional day and what I'm most excited for people to see, is Val and Tom, two actors at the very top of their game, just doing an incredibly emotional scene."

Check out our exclusive interview with Kosinski below:

In our review, we said, "Top Gun: Maverick is the must-see cinematic experience of the year! Packed with jaw-dropping aerial sequences, thrilling edge-of-your-seat moments, genuine heart, epic romance, huge stakes, and one of the absolute best performances of Tom Cruise's legendary career, this is the theatrical experience you've been waiting for."

Tom Cruise headlines the feature as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, with original co-star Val Kilmer returning as Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. The iconic pair are joined by an all-star supporting cast consisting of Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin, Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral Cyclone, Glen Powell as Hangman, Lewis Pullman as Bob, Ed Harris as Rear Admiral, Monica Barbaro as Phoenix, Charles Parnell as Rear Admiral Warlock, Danny Ramirez as Fanboy, Manny Jacinto as Fritz, Bashir Salahuddin as Coleman, Jay Ellis as Payback, Jake Picking in an undisclosed role, Raymond Lee in an undisclosed role, Lyliana Wray as Amelia Benjamin, Jean Louisa Kelly as Carole Bradshaw, Greg Davis as Coyote, and Bob Stephenson in an undisclosed role.

Top Gun: Maverick jets into theaters on May 27!


After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

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