How Val Kilmer Reacts To Returning As Iceman – The Hollywood Reporter
[This story contains spoilers for Top Gun: Maverick.]
Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick keep breaking one record after another, just like its main feature. The Top Guns the next part is over Avengers: Infinity War became the sixth-biggest domestic film of all time and currently ranks twelfth on the all-time worldwide box office list. At the very least, that’s an incredible achievement for a sequel to Tony Scott’s 36-year-old film, especially since it doesn’t match the profiles of most record-breakers today.
Naturally, when the majority of the population unites for a part of popular culture like Maverick, fan theories are sure to emerge, and the leader of the group revolves around the opening scene of the movie featuring the Darkstar supersonic plane. The theory kicks in the idea that Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) died after he eclipsed Mach 10 speeds, making the rest of the movie a deathly dream. When asked if he wanted to rescind this interpretation, Kosinski refused.
“Movies are interpreted in different ways, and I like it when people read different meanings in it. So I’d love to hear that theory, and for sure, there’s a kind of mythical element in the story that I think it’s based on that interpretation, based on who Maverick is and what he represents. and the fact that he is going through this ritual. Kosinski told The Hollywood Reporter during a recent press conference for the film’s impending digital release.
The director is also reminiscing about showing Val Kilmer the now-favorite Iceman-Maverick reunion scene for the first time.
“Obviously, we were all a little nervous showing it to him just because we really wanted him to like it. But his reaction was beautiful. He was so happy and emotional because it made us all feel really good and maybe we did the right thing,” Kosinski recalls.
In a recent conversation with CHEAPKosinski also explained whether there was foreshadowing in the “Great Balls of Fire” scene.
Congratulations to the number one miracle and $1.4 billion miracle.
(Laugh.) Thanks a lot. I appreciate that.
Despite living in a time of widespread distrust and disagreement, one thing that everyone agrees on lately is the virtue of Top Gun: Maverick. So why do you think Maverick become that rare exception?
Well, we’ve made the movie to be enjoyed on the big screen, in the best theater you can find, and we’ve finally reached a point where people feel comfortable going back to theaters. to rediscover an experience we’ve all missed out on for a few years. So I think that has a lot to do with it. The story also resonated with people. They got to see Tom return as Maverick after 35 years, and it was a real thrill for everyone. So we just wanted to make a historical drama. We shot it the old fashioned way with real high-tech equipment and I think people really get a feel for all the effort that goes into shooting an actual movie. The feedback I keep getting from people is that they’re clutching the edge of their chair while watching this. So that’s one of those things where you really appreciate the power of actual filmmaking when you’re being told a story.
The bar scene serves many purposes, and I believe one of them is to immediately determine that the Rooster (Miles Teller) is a better leader than Hangman (Glen Powell). When we meet Hangman, he is competing with his best friend, Coyote (Greg Tarzan Davis), at the darts and the pool, and he was also talking trash to other pilots. When the Rooster arrived, he was greeted warmly by everyone but Hangman, and then he united the bar through the “Great Ball of Fire”. And the pilots sang live around the Rooster – Phoenix (Monica Barbaro), Bob (Lewis Pullman), Payback (Jay Ellis) and Fanboy (Danny Ramirez) – were all pilots chosen for the mission. They are the only pilots that you have shown during the performance of the song of the Rooster. Hangman, Coyote and other patches are not displayed at all. So are you really heralding the final team in “Great Balls of Fire”?
(Kosinski laughed.) I think you’re definitely on something there. Maverick needs to choose a winger for that final mission, someone he can trust, someone who will return in his place, as Rooster did in the third act. He goes back to Maverick despite everything and everyone tells him not to. So that’s what Maverick was looking for in that last quest. Hangman is an incredible pilot, but he still has some lessons to learn throughout this movie. And of course, in the end he made it through spectacularly. Hangman had some grown up things to do, a little bit of maturity to be a pilot, and he got to the end of the movie, went through that part and learned his lesson. So I think it shows that Maverick picked the right person for the final mission, and in a way, the Rooster inherited a lot of those qualities from his father. And Maverick saw that in him.
I’m sure you’ve heard the popular theory that Maverick died in the opening Darkstar trailer, making the rest of the movie a deathly dream. Would you like to pour cold water on this interpretation?
(Laugh.) No, movies are interpreted in different ways, and I like it when people read different meanings in it. So I’d love to hear that theory, and for sure, there’s a kind of mythical element in the story that I think it’s based on that interpretation, based on who Maverick is and what he represents. and the fact that he is going through this ritual. of a journey at another stage of his life. So I like that theory. Movies are things that are interpreted your way and are based on how you see the world and the experiences you’ve had. So I won’t pour cold water on it. It’s a really interesting interpretation of the story.
Val Kilmer’s scene will be honored for generations to come. It is just miraculous. Do you remember the first time you showed Tom and Val the ending scene?
Well, Tom was involved throughout the editing process to shape that scene and build that scene. So there was never really a moment for him to see the finale. He was there as it evolved, and he was clearly an important part of it. But I remember showing Val the first time. It was a very different memory because he came to see parts of the movie. So it was a scene that I wanted him to see, and obviously, we were all a little nervous showing it to him just because we really wanted him to like it. But his reaction was beautiful. He was so happy and emotional because it made us all feel really good and maybe we got it right.
Similar to Stinger (James Tolkan) in the original film, Ed Harris’ character, Hammer, rips Maverick apart before sending him back to TOPGUN. So just out of curiosity, have you ever considered a bookend to show Hammer’s reaction to Maverick’s latest feats, like the Stinger at the end of the first one?
You know, we never considered that. You were the first to bring it up. But it was a dream to work with Ed Harris and have him play that part at the beginning of the film. When trying to find an actor who could dress up as Maverick, there was the guy who played John Glenn in The Relevant content like a dream, and thank God he said yes. He just came in and absolutely crushed that role the way we all hoped he would. So I think he served his purpose in the movie and helped move Maverick’s arc. I don’t think we ever thought it was necessary to bring him back in the end.
I can’t remember the last time a movie made $1.4 billion without a spin-off. So has Paramount sent a convoy of Brink’s trucks to your house? Do lavish gifts appear at this hour in the hope that you will come up with another idea?
(Laugh.) No, I think if another movie happened, it would play out very similarly to the way this movie did, which would create a story for Maverick that absolutely had to be told. We’re all excited about the release of this movie because it’s been a long journey. It was five years for me and 35 years for Jerry [Bruckheimer] and Tom. So we’re all just enjoying the feedback this movie gets. And maybe along the way, if we come up with a story that feels like it absolutely has to happen, then maybe it will, but for now, I think we’re all enjoying the lighthearted feeling. relieved to get this story out the door.
Well, Joe, congratulations again on such a historic feat. The CinemaCon screening was easily the best day I’ve had since March 2020, so thank you for making that possible.
I really appreciate that. I was there that day too, and it’s definitely a day I’ll never forget.
Top Gun: Maverick is showing in theaters and on August 23 digitally. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.