Tom Cruise Reveals the Top Gun: Maverick Scene That Brought Him to Tears

Top Gun: Maverick was released last year, and it became the second-most successful movie of 2022 and the twelfth-highest-grossing movie of all time. The Tom Cruise-led sequel was over 35 years in the making, and it ended up earning over $1 billion at the box office before becoming a big hit on Paramount+. In addition to Cruise, the movie also featured Val Kilmer reprising his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. Sadly, Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, which ended up being a part of Iceman's arc in Top Gun: Maverick. This week, Cruise appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and talked about his emotional reunion with Kilmer. 

"I just want to say that was pretty emotional, I've known Val for decades," Cruise explained. "For him to come back and play that character... he's such a powerful actor, that he instantly became that character again... you're looking at Iceman." Cruise added, "I was crying, I got emotional ... He's such a brilliant actor, and I love his work."

How Did Top: Gun Maverick Influence Willow?

While Kilmer did reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick, the iconic actor was unable to return to another big role: Madmartigen from Willow. After struggling with his health, filming the series during COVID was too risky and they ended up having to write the actor out of the Disney+ show. However, showrunner Jonathan Kasdan recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the Top Gun sequel influenced Willow

"Not only did it give us food for thought, but my executive producer, Tommy Harper, was the executive producer of Top Gun: Maverick, so he worked with Val then," Kasdan explained of the film. "I had already met Val when we were setting out to do this thing. We've been talking pretty consistently every day of our lives about how to bring Madmartigan back and how that character can continue to live within the Willow universe. And much of the first season asks the question of what happened to Madmartigan. And when there was a real shot at getting him out to Wales during our first season, we had a very specific moment when that question was going to be answered. But when it became clear that we weren't going to get him out there because of the restrictions that Covid was putting on all of us, we simply pushed the question a little further down the road and continued to build it out in ways that we thought were tantalizing and fun." 

Top Gun: Maverick is now streaming on Paramount+.