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Val Kilmer used AI technology to re-create his iconic voice in 'Top Gun: Maverick'

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Val Kilmer used AI technology to speak in "Top Gun: Maverick" after losing his voice to throat cancer.hoto by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
  • In "Top Gun: Maverick," Val Kilmer returns as the iconic character Tom "Iceman" Kazansky.

  • Kilmer, 62, worked with a tech company that used AI technology to re-create his voice.

  • The actor lost his voice after being found to have throat cancer in 2014.

After first starring as Lt. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in the 1986 film "Top Gun," Val Kilmer made his triumphant return, 36 years later, in the sequel "Top Gun: Maverick." In the 2022 film, he now plays an admiral.

Kilmer, 62, was found to have throat cancer in 2014, according to The New York Times Magazine. After going through several treatments, including a tracheotomy, he lost his voice, the outlet reported. Kilmer publicly confirmed his diagnosis in 2017 after denying reports of his illness.

Last year the actor worked with a London tech company, Sonantic, using artificial-intelligence technology to re-create his iconic voice for the sequel. Sonantic used old recordings of Kilmer's voice to make it look as if he were speaking in the film, according to Fortune.

In an August interview with People, Kilmer's son, Jack Kilmer, said his dad was excited about the project.

"They honor the legacy of Iceman, and he was so stoked by it," the younger Kilmer said.

In the same interview, the film's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, said Tom Cruise was the "driving force" behind getting Kilmer to return for the sequel.

"He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'" Bruckheimer told People. "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."

Bruckheimer continued of Kilmer: "He's such a fine actor, and he's such a good individual. We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again."

Val Kilmer as Iceman in "Top Gun."
In the original 1986 film, Kilmer played Tom "Iceman" Kazansky.Paramount

The "Top Gun" producer added that when Kilmer arrived on the set to film with Cruise, it was a "really emotional experience for all of us."

Representatives for Kilmer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Insider