Tom Cruise revealed that having Val Kilmer in the film was almost an obligation

Cruise spoke with Entertainment Tonight about his experience reprising his role opposite Kilmer. “I really worked really hard to get him to do the movie,” Cruise said.

“The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene, it’s very special, it’s very special,” he continued, speaking of a powerful scene in the film.

The producer of Top Gun, Jerry Bruckheimertold PEOPLE last year that Cruise “really wanted” Kilmer in the new movie.

Top Gun_ Maverick _ NEW Official Trailer

Pamount Pictures

“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the movie,'” Bruckheimer said. “And he was the driving force. We all loved him, but Tom was very convinced that if he was going to do another Top Gun, Val had to be in it.”

“He’s such a good actor and such a good person. We had a great time in the first one and wanted to get some of the gang back together,” producer Kilmer said.

Bruckheimer also noted that the Top Gun reunion was “very emotional” for Kilmer and Cruise. “It was a very emotional experience for all of us,” he said. “It took a long time to get there, but we did it.”

Kilmer previously shared his reaction to the news that Cruise was working on “Top Gun: Maverick” in his memoirs from last year, entitled I’m Your Huckleberry.

“He called it Top Gun: Maverick. Well, Tom was Maverick, but Maverick’s nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper,” Kilmer wrote. “It didn’t matter that the producers didn’t get in touch with me. As the Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘I’m not too proud to beg’.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” will be released in theaters on May 26.

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