Val Kilmer Backtracks on 'Top Gun 2' Claim

Actor confuses fans by insinuating he's signed up for sequel, only to say it had only been offered to him

Val Kilmer backtracked on his initial claims that he will reprise his Iceman character in 'Top Gun 2' Credit: Everett Collection

Val Kilmer created a commotion online Tuesday with a Facebook post declaring that he would reprise his role of Iceman in Top Gun 2. "Let's fire up some fighter jets again!!!" he wrote. Hours later, he said he "jumped the top gun" with the announcement. "Being offered a role is very different from doing a role," he wrote in his update. "[It's] an innocent mistake. It was just such a wonderful phone call with my agent."

Kilmer's original post was very confusing. "I just got offered Top Gun 2 - not often you get to say 'yes' without reading the script," he wrote. Then, making matters worse, he gave examples of other things he'd say "yes" to – a movie starring Gene Hackman, a film helmed by Francis Ford Coppola – but written in a way that suggested they were attached to the Top Gun sequel. Later, he posted another update clarifying that he used Coppola and Hackman only as examples and apologizing for misleading people.

Cruise, whom Kilmer mentioned in his original post, has not publicly accepted a role in the sequel. Nevertheless, the CEO of the production company handling the film said this past summer that, "There is no Top Gun without Maverick," referring to Cruise's character and thus hinting the actor would be onboard. Cruise has expressed optimism about the proposed film. "It would be fun," he told Reuters in July. "I would like to get back into those jets."

Kilmer closed his update by honoring original Top Gun director Tony Scott. "We will all miss Tony Scott, one of the kindest gentlemen I've ever met in the film biz, but let's fire up some fighter jets again!!!" The filmmaker, who is Ridley Scott's brother and who also helmed Days of Thunder and True Romance, died of an apparent suicide in 2012.

Plot details for Top Gun 2 were revealed earlier this year, with Tom Cruise's Maverick character hunting down drones in the film, which will be set in the present and account for the three decades between installments. Justin Marks, who wrote Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and next year's Jon Favreau–directed adaptation of Disney's The Jungle Book, is handling the script.

"It is very much a world we live in today where it's drone technology, and fifth-generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we're actually going to produce, so it's really [about] exploring the 'end of an era' of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today," Skydance Productions chief David Ellison said during a junket for another film. The producer added that he hoped to make the film in IMAX and 3-D and that it would downplay digital effects.

Cruise echoed that last stipulation in his Reuters interview. "I don't want any CGI jets," he said. "I want to shoot it like how we shot the first one."