During a recent interview, legendary actor Val Kilmer’s son revealed that the upcoming Top Gun sequel will feature real-life fighter pilots as extras in the movie.
Fans are eagerly anticipating the release of Top Gun: Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to the original 1986 film. More than 30 years after its release, the sequel will hit theaters later next year after multiple delays.
The original movie focused on Tom Cruise who plays Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young naval aviator. Maverick and his partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw get a chance to train at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. That’s where Cruise’s character becomes the rival to top student Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky’s played by Kilmer.
Val Kilmer has had numerous health issues in recent years, including a battle with throat cancer. Numerous outlets reported that Cruise insisted on Kilmer making an appearance in the new film. Cruise and Kilmer will be the only two returning stars to reprise their roles for the new movie. The sequel will follow Maverick once again as he trains a new squad of fighter pilot graduates for a dangerous mission.
Even though Cruise and Kilmer are the only original actors to return, there will also be other special appearances in Top Gun: Maverick. While speaking to PEOPLE recently, Kilmer’s son, Jack, said he got to spend time on the San Diego set of the new film. Jack said he got to see “hundreds of extras of real pilots” working on the movie.
“They were coming up to us and telling us that the first Top Gun inspired them to join the Navy and the Air Force. Then we had these big F-bomb planes flying overhead,” Jack said to PEOPLE. “It was like one of the proudest moments of being American that you could think of really.”
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Actor Tom Cruise ‘Adamant’ Val Kilmer Made an Appearance
In the same interview, Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer opened up about how adamant Tom Cruise was about involving Val Kilmer in the sequel. Bruckheimer said that everyone wanted Kilmer back on set, but that Cruise became the driving force behind his appearance.
“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film.’ And he was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he’s going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it,” Bruckheimer told PEOPLE.
The famous film producer went on to praise Kilmer’s career. But he also made sure to note how great of a person he is as well.
“He’s such a fine actor, and he’s such a good individual,” Bruckheimer said of Kilmer. “We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again.”
“It was a really emotional experience for all of us. It was a long time getting there, but we did,” Bruckheimer added.