HomeAmerican EntertainmentPeopleVal Kilmer Forced To Back Out of Role in New Series Due To Health Concerns

Val Kilmer Forced To Back Out of Role in New Series Due To Health Concerns

by Emily Morgan
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Photo by: C Flanigan / Contributor

Val Kilmer has definitely seen better days. The legendary actor was reportedly forced to give up reprising his role in “Willow” because of his ongoing medical problems. Previously, Kilmer starred as Madmartigan in the 1988 original movie. 

According to showrunner Jonathan Kasdan, Kilmer must back out of the role entirely due to the looming COVID-19 virus. 

“As COVID overtook the world, it became insurmountable,” Kasdan admitted to news outlets. “We were prepping in the spring of the year that it was most happening. And Val reluctantly didn’t feel he could come out.”

Disney+ dropped the debut episode of the reboot on Nov. 30. 

Kasdan continued: “I remember going to see Val right after this thing started to get some momentum, and I said, ‘Listen, we’re doing this and the whole world wants Madmartigan back. And he was like, ‘Not as much as I do.'”

As Kasdan recalls, Kilmer was set to appear in the series initially. 

“He embraced me when I left. He picked me up, and he said, ‘See? I’m still super strong.’ And I was like, ‘Great,'” Kasdan said. “We started building out the first season with the intent of having him appear. [It wasn’t clear we couldn’t get him] until pretty late in the process, frankly.”

Although he won’t appear in season one, Kasdan did say that there is a potential to see Kilmer appear in the series. 

The door is reportedly ‘open’ for Val Kilmer to appear in season 2 of ‘Willow’

“We wanted to leave open the door to any possibility in the future and also honor the spirit of him,” he revealed. “We’ve tried to do that and work with him in a way so that he is felt and heard, if not seen.”

Sadly, the Top Gun star was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015. He reprised his legendary role as Iceman in the reboot Top Gun: Maverick. However, it was far from easy. The actor underwent challenges after undergoing a tracheostomy.

“I can’t speak without plugging this hole [in his throat]. You have to make the choice to breathe or to eat,” he said last year. “It’s an obstacle that is very present with whoever sees me.”

Despite the issues, transforming into Iceman once again was “like being reunited with a long-lost friend,” according to Kilmer. “The characters never really go away,” he said previously. “They live on in deep freeze. If you’ll pardon the pun.”

The 62-year-old previously starred in the original 1988 film as a dishonorable knight who helps sorcerer Willow Ufgood, played by Warwick Davis, rescue Elora Danan. Although you won’t catch him this season, the cast is paying tribute to his character in the show.

“It’s difficult. Everyone wants Madmartigan,” said Amar Chadha-Patel, a series star who plays Boorman, a warrior similar to Kilmer from 1988. “He’s the epitome of that archetype of the roguish guy with a sword. I tried to do that in my own way,” he teases. “We tried to expand on that role and make this character cool, funny and silly – and obviously his own thing.

Outsider.com