One of the best actors to escape relatively unscathed from the 1980s and 1990s is Val Kilmer who, despite some major health concerns in the past, has been experiencing something of a renaissance professionally. If you don’t believe me, then run out and check the recent critically acclaimed documentary Val (seriously, one of the best documentaries to land in 2021) and you’ll be reminded anew as to why the considerable acting chops of Kilmer are a thing of beauty. If that doesn’t quite sell you on what I’m hawking then take it up with moviegoers who, over the long Memorial Day weekend, have officially given Val Kilmer (and some bloke by the name of Tom Cruise) and Top Gun: Maverick the highest Memorial Day weekend debut of any movie ever. The Heat star reprised his role of Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky in the popular sequel and it looks like Hollywood has stood up and taken notice if word ‘round campfire from our Hollywood Reporter pals are to be believed…
Though not the strict focus of every episode, it has been announced that Val Kilmer will have a huge presence to occupy and fill in the upcoming Disney+ series Willow, which is a direct continuation of the Ron Howard/George Lucas 1988 theatrical mashup of the same name.
Willow star Warwick Davis and executive producer Jonathan Kasdan have revealed that Kilmer’s character of Madmartigan from the original film will play a major part in the new series. “Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the green light to do this, was with Val,” Kasdan said last week. “We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.”
The role of Kilmer in Willow might not adhere to a traditional starring or guest-starring role, explains Kasdan, who chalks up the loss of a more significant contribution from the actor as a result of the worldwide pandemic: “Because we were shooting during (the COVID-19 lockdowns), he wasn’t able to come to Wales and shoot with us,” the executive producer said. “But he is in the show in a big way. And we’re pretty excited about it. Madmartigan lives on.”
Val Kilmer is an acting icon: Even sans his nigh mythical turn in 1986’s Top Gun, his career resume would be one that any self-respecting thespian would be proud of: From his turn as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s rock biopic The Doors, to his signature career role as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, Kilmer is an actor for the Ages – Fearless and possessing the ability to transform himself into any character put in front of him. It’s good to see him back on the scene in a more prominent way and we’re all for a Kilmer resurgence!