'Top Gun: Maverick': How the Filmmakers Brought Back [SPOILER]’s Voice

While it was speculated that original Top Gun star Val Kilmer would be a part of Top Gun: Maverick

his exact role and how he would appear was kept tightly under wraps.

While the star has overcome a battle with throat cancer which has affected his speech

an illness that Kilmer confirmed in 2017,

Tom Cruise and Maverick director Joseph Kosinski found a way to include the actor in the film,

with his character Tom "Iceman" Kazansky's story mirroring the star's real life challenges in a touching and emotional way.

Most notably, the creative team found a way to include Kilmer's voice in the film, something Kilmer lost the use of during treatment.

As a result of rounds of chemotherapy and two tracheotomies — a procedure that allows one to breathe without nose or mouth — Kilmer lost the ability to speak clearly.

In 2021, through the use of AI technology, his voice was able to be recreated with archival audio.