Perhaps one of the most exciting returns for Top Gun: Maverick will be Iceman's. Top Gun 2 is the long-awaited sequel to 1986's Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, and Kelly McGillis. Since its release in the summer of '86, Top Gun's notoriety in pop culture has only grown, becomes a quotable, oft-referenced film that is now as a definitive film in the '80s.
Kilmer played Top Gun recruit Iceman in the original and he will be returning for the sequel in the same role. Top Gun was only Kilmer's third feature-length film role (after 1984's Top Secret! and 1985's Real Genius), and Iceman proved to be a breakout role for Kilmer. His subsequent career has included playing Doc Holliday in Tombstone, Chris Shiherlis in Michael Mann's Heat, Batman in Batman Forever, and Jim Morrison in The Doors. Kilmer's career has slowed in more recent years; he's popped up in comedy TV series The Spoils of Babylon and Terrence Malick's Song to Song, but Top Gun 2 is arguably the first truly "big" movie he has done in a long time.
With Val Kilmer poised for a serious comeback thanks to the rare opportunity of reprising the role that made him famous, here's everything we know about Iceman in Top Gun 2.
Val Kilmer Is One Of Two Returning Original Cast Members For Top Gun 2
It was announced in June 2018 that Kilmer would return for Top Gun 2. Reports confirmed Kilmer would indeed return as Lieutenant Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. Kilmer's return means he is the only other original Top Gun cast member to return for the sequel besides Tom Crusie as Maverick. There are no signs other past cast members - including Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, Tim Robbins, and Meg Ryan (in one of her earliest roles) - will return for the film.
Kilmer joins a stunningly stacked cast in Top Gun 2. Other confirmed cast members include Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Lewis Pullman, Glen Powell, and The Good Place's Manny Jacinto. So far, it's been confirmed that Connelly will be playing the female lead as Maverick's love interest and Teller will play Goose's son, Bradley Bradshaw.
Maverick Will Show Who Iceman Has Become Since Top Gun
Even without specifics about Iceman's character in Top Gun 2 released to the public, his return indicates one of two key things. The first thing: Top Gun 2 will have to show what happened to Iceman in the 30-plus years since the Top Gun. The first film played it vague on what kind of future awaited Iceman, so anything is possible when it comes to showing what he's up to in 2020.
With the film largely focused on Maverick, there is a little more wiggle room to handle Iceman. Tom Kazansky was a man committed wholeheartedly to his career as a Navy pilot in Top Gun; he lived, ate, slept, and breathed the Top Gun program. It will be interesting to see if Top Gun 2 chooses to keep Iceman in the Navy or if he retired or moved into another role outside of the speed-needing program.
Top Gun 2 will also have to deal with the Navy's evolution over the last three decades and how modern warfare has re-shaped the military branch's role in U.S. affairs foreign and domestic. Iceman and Maverick were likely unprepared for how rapidly these shifts and evolutions will occur. Seeing if Iceman was able to adapt over the years, either staying in the Navy or feeling forced out, will also likely be dealt with.
Iceman's Relationship to Maverick Will Be Included in Top Gun 2
Iceman's return for Top Gun 2 means viewers won't just be treated to an update on his personal life - they'll also get a look at his friendship with Maverick. The pair started out in Top Gun as enemies competing for the same recognition from their superiors and opportunities for advancement. Iceman was positioned as the flawless flyer in control of his judgment and emotions in the sky while Maverick was skilled but flew with his heart. Both men were characterized as incredibly confident individuals to the point of it coming across as cockiness, something which helped to fuel their opposition before they eventually found comradery with each other. By the end of Top Gun, Iceman and Maverick had earned one another's mutual respect and it seemed like they had developed a friendship.
Top Gun: Maverick will have to reveal whether or not these two remained close, went back to their antagonistic relationship, or have simply lost touch altogether. Iceman being the only returning character for this sequel film means he's really the one character we see who has known Maverick the longest. Iceman will likely be able to act as a confidant and close friend in the film - a nice benefit to having him back in the world of Top Gun, regardless of how big his role may be.
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2020) release date: Jun 26, 2020