In an interview with Extra during promotion for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Cruise said it is "special" to work with Kilmer again. As for his health, Cruise said Kilmer is "doing really well."
Kilmer, who played Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in the original Top Gun, battled throat cancer for two years, leaving many to wonder if he was up to returning to the role more than 30 years later. But in June, The Hollywood Reporter reported he would be back. Earlier this month, Kilmer confirmed the news himself.
"I'm officially in the sequel to Top Gun," Kilmer announced. "[I'm] looking forward to working with Tom, Joe (Kosisnski) and Jerry (Bruckheimer), all such unique pros."
The new Top Gun movie has been in development for years, but struggled to get off the ground after director Tony Scott's death in 2012. The jets started revving up recently, with producer Jerry Bruckheimer bringing in Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy, Oblivion) to direct. Miles Teller was also cast to play the son of Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), who was killed in the original film. Harold Faltermeyer, who wrote the original film's iconic synth-heavy score, is also composing the music for the sequel.
Cruise announced that production on Top Gun 2 started on June 6 by sharing a photo of himself in full flight gear with a jet in the background. "Feel the need," reads the slogan on the poster.
After trying to keep his health battles a secret, Kilmer, 58, came forward in a December 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. He needed a procedure on his trachea and his voice became raspy. Still, he continued to make small appearances in films, including The Snowman, Song to Song, Palo Alto and Standing Up.
Kilmer insisted he would star in a Top Gun 2, writing on Facebook in 2015 that he would sign on without even reading a script.0comments
"This is a long way off so calm down. This has been talked about for a long long time and being offered a role is very different from doing a role. I jumped the gun with my post. I jumped the Top Gun... An innocent mistake. It was just such a wonderful phone call with my agent," Kilmer wrote.
Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters on July 12, 2019. In the meantime, you can catch Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which opens on July 27.