Val Kilmer used AI to speak in Top Gun: Maverick after cancer stole his voice

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Beloved action star Val Kilmer is back in Top Gun: Maverick as Iceman. To the surprise of many, Kilmer’s appearance in the new action film comes alongside new speaking lines despite the fact that the actor’s voice has been lost.

After a years long battle with throat cancer, Kilmer has been left unable to speak. However, thanks to deepfake AI, the actor is now able to provide new lines for movies, adverts and more.

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How Val Kilmer used AI to star in Top Gun: Maverick

In a long report by Page Six, Kilmer’s daughter revealed that it was an amazing experience to watch her father act again. Everyone working on the new movie believed that a Top Gun Sequel without the actor would “seem very incorrect.”

After partnering with an AI voice company over the pandemic, Kilmer’s iconic voice was able to return. The long process was harder than most as Kilmer can no longer speak, meaning every piece of data had to be taken from old recordings and cleaned up.

Nevertheless, though sheer perseverance and Kilmer’s old habit of recording everything about his life, they were able to build an accurate voice model. With the model sounding just like Kilmer, they were able to bring him back for the Top Gun sequel.

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“They were able to dub him with his own voice, which is amazing,” said his daughter, Mercedes. “It’s such a technical feat, being able to engineer his voice that way, that it’s an extension of the technical feat of the film.”

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He wants to act in more movies

Kilmer’s daughter revealed that her father wants to act in many more movies. While the nature of his AI voice might be an issue for some productions, the actor is not giving up on his return to acting.

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“Now that he has his voice [thanks to technology] ,he can absolutely take on more projects,” Mercedes Kilmer said. “Some people are like ‘Oh, I have a cold, I’m not going to act today, but he really doesn’t let anything stop him. I wish he would take a break!”

Val Kilmer already has a number of projects in the works using his AI voice. It’s fair to say that Val is back.