Val Kilmer will be reprising his role as Iceman in the upcoming "Top Gun" sequel and it is all thanks to Tom Cruise.
Fans have been wondering whether the actor would be making an appearance given the fact that he lost his speaking voice due to the intense treatments for his throat cancer but the film's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, confirmed the news to People, explaining that it was something Cruise was "adamant" about.
"He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'" Bruckheimer said. "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."
The news comes shortly after Kilmer teased an artificial intelligence recreation of his voice with the help of a British company and this could potentially be how he will be heard in "Top Gun: Maverick," which will be released Nov. 19. Commenting on Kilmer's appearance in the film, Bruckheimer likened it to a reunion.
"He's such a fine actor, and he's such a good individual. We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again," he said, adding that it was "very emotional" for Kilmer and Cruise.
"It was a really emotional experience for all of us," he continued. "It was a long time getting there, but we did."
Weeks ago U.K. based startup, Sonantic, announced that it would be working with Kilmer to restore his old voice.
"We see ourselves as the CGI of audio," CEO and co-founder Zeena Qureshi told People earlier this year. "We create the world's most expressive and realistic artificial voices, and we do this for the entertainment industry. So on one side we work with actors and we help them train basically an AI version of themselves that can edit and it can work for them."
Qureshi explained that Kilmer's team contacted the company last year to see if they could develop a program for the actor.
"It was just after the Val documentary had been filmed and put together," said Qureshi. "And Val's team was wondering if they could essentially just give him back his voice, [whether to be used for] his poetry, or his promotional material, just giving him something to continuously use for his craft, because he's such a creative person. And so that's what we did."
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