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Legendary movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer has revealed Tom Cruise demanded Val Kilmer be included in the Top Gun sequel.
There was no way Cruise wasn't going to be a part of the highly-anticipated follow up to the 1986 film, however Val's inclusion was up in the air.
The actor had battled throat cancer for two years and his normal speaking voice had been all but erased.
Despite this, Tom Cruise said Kilmer had to reprise his role as Iceman for Top Gun: Maverick.
Jerry Bruckheimer told People: "He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film'.
"And he was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he's going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it."
Val has been keen to take on the character of Iceman ever since rumours of the sequel started to leak out of Hollywood.
When the sequel's title, Maverick, was unveiled back in 2017, the actor wrote on Instagram: "I'm ready Tom - still got my Top Gun plaque. Still got the moves! Still got it!"
Bruckheimer said it was 'very emotional' when Cruise and Kilmer reunited on set for the film and promises audiences will be just as overwhelmed with emotion when they see the pair on screen.
It's unclear how Kilmer's character will be able to function if he's unable to talk.
The actor had to undergo a tracheotomy - an incision in the neck to help with breathing - during his recovery from throat cancer.
In a new documentary detailing his life and cancer battle, he revealed how he now uses a digital voice box to communicate to the world.
However, recent technology has helped give the 61-year-old his voice back in a different way.
Tech company Sonantic used artificial intelligence to combine past recordings of the actor's voice from his various roles to create a near perfect rendering of his speech pattern.
A 'voice engine' then used fine-tuned algorithms to train the model and 40 different voice models were created.
The best and most expressive one was then selected for Kilmer, and he will be able to improve it further as he uses it, adjusting parameters like pacing and pitch to tailor his delivery.
Kilmer said it was an 'incredibly special gift', adding: "I'm grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I've never imagined possible.
"As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me.
"The chance to tell my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift."
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