After Losing His Voice To Cancer – Val Kilmer Speaks Again For Top Gun: Maverick
For his Top Gun: Maverick cameo, Val Kilmer was able to recreate his voice after losing it to throat cancer
The biggest movie of the summer is Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel to the beloved action classic sees Tom Cruise once again take to the skies as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. But a Top Gun sequel wouldn’t be complete without Val Kilmer’s Iceman. Unfortunately, Kilmer lost his voice to cancer and has been unable to speak clearly for some time. However, with the help of unique technology, Kilmer can talk again.
Kilmer’s daughter Mercedes was on hand for the filming of his cameo, and she remarked on what a special moment it was.
“I was on set. I saw it live, and it was extraordinary, It means a lot to my dad as he’s very proud of that film. This is what he loves to do.”
Mercedes also reflected on how “trippy” it was to reflect on her father’s stardom and youth. Kilmer plays an older version of Iceman, who is now an Admiral, giving Maverick one last shot at glory.
Related: What Life’s Like For 1980s Heartthrob Val Kilmer After Surviving Throat Cancer
Val Kilmer’s Battle With Throat Cancer
The Top Gun & The Saint star secretly battled throat cancer between 2015-2017, where he underwent chemotherapy and multiple surgeries that left his voice all but gone. Kilmer uses an electronic box that he plugs into his trachea to speak now.
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Reports indicate for his scene in Top Gun: Maverick, the filmmakers, recreated Kilmer’s voice with AI technology and archival footage of the actor’s voice.
“Val Kilmer Recreated His Speaking Voice Using Artificial Intelligence and Hours of Old Audio”
Source: IndieWire#ArtificialIntelligence pic.twitter.com/TuVjMghA9o
— DeFiance Media (@defiancemediatv) August 18, 2021
Before the AI, Kilmer was forced to be overdubbed by other actors in a very unconvincing way.
If you’re a voice actor who can do an excellent Val Kilmer impression, please contact him. It is desperately sad to see him in another film where he’s been poorly dubbed by someone who sounds absolutely nothing like he formerly did. (This is from 2020’s Paydirt.) pic.twitter.com/AMdUpkPI1B
— Mathew Buck (@FB_BMB) January 31, 2021
Kilmer’s Documentary, Val
Kilmer’s career and cancer survival were documented in the 2021 documentary Val.
The film included footage shot by Kilmer throughout his 30+ year career, as well as interviews with friends and family and a modern Kilmer who speaks with mechanical assistance and the help of AI.
Watching VAL has given me a new sense of gratitude for my voice as an actor ~ in the stoic sense watching Val Kilmer’s battle w throat cancer makes me appreciate how much of our personality comes through voice & how much it is entwined in our identity 🥀🔥pic.twitter.com/VskKSxDt9q
— Laurence Fuller (@LaurenceFuller) August 8, 2021
Val Kilmer’s Best Movies
Kilmer has had an up and down career. In 40 years in Hollywood, he’s had so many iconic roles. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Let’s start off with his 80s classic, Real Genius.
thinking about val kilmer as chris knight in real genius (1985) pic.twitter.com/5bXPfZ9eBI
— em 🏜️ (@puzzlegarden) August 13, 2021
Perhaps his most iconic role was as Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
About had a heart attack when I saw Val Kilmer trending. Still alive! Yes, he was robbed of an Oscar for Tombstone. pic.twitter.com/xkjSYAX2pC
— Lone ⭐️ Girl (@texasmom2twins) January 15, 2022
Despite the hate, he was solid as Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever.
Val Kilmer had a perfect Batman voice and this scene is just so goodpic.twitter.com/AAfqOSG3IA
— Luke (@qLxke_) January 24, 2021
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an underrated classic that resurrected Kilmer’s and Robert Downey Jr’s careers.
i am so in love with kiss kiss bang bang
every time van kilmer opens his mouth, it’s a perfect combo of abrasion and absolute calm. and the charisma between every character is sooo good
if you ain’t see kkbb…. Die. pic.twitter.com/TsU37zM6UF
— ilana steinberg (@lanibirdtweets) November 18, 2021
I’m glad to see Kilmer back, and I hope this technology can put him back in more films.
Are you a Val Kilmer fan? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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