How Top Gun: Maverick Used AI To Recreate Val Kilmer’s Voice

July 14, 2022 0 Comments

The filmmakers of
Top Gun: Maverick used A.I. to help give Val Kilmer’s Iceman his voice. After many delays, the long-in-development sequel to 1986
Top Gun finally made it to screens and was a box office sensation.
Top Gun: Maverick flew to the box office charts grossing $160 over the Memorial Day weekend, becoming the biggest opening weekend of Tom Cruise’s career and claiming the biggest Memorial Day weekend crown from
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.,One of the most talked-about and heartfelt moments of the film was the reunion between Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) and his old rival turned friend, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer). Many were wondering how Kilmer’s Iceman would factor into
Top Gun: Maverick, as in 2014, the actor underwent throat cancer treatment, which resulted in the loss of his voice. For Iceman’s brief scene, he speaks to Maverick mainly through typing on a keyboard, but for one final moment, he gets a few encouraging lines to Maverick in, which was done with the help of advanced A.I.,Related: Top Gun: Maverick’s Iceman Scene Is A Beautiful Val Kilmer Tribute,According to 
Variety, in 2021, Kilmer partnered with Sonantic, supplying the company with hours of archival footage featuring his speaking voice to create an AI-powered speaking voice for himself. This audio was fed through the company’s algorithms and turned into a model, and this same process was used again for
Top Gun: Maverick. The hope with this technology is to allow others who have lost their ability to speak to have their voices again.,Lucasfilm recently made headlines with the news that Luke Skywalker’s dialogue in both
The Mandalorian and
The Book of Boba Fett was not actually spoken by Mark Hamill but was fully synthesized with an application called Respeeacher. Many fans reacted negatively to that news, with a range of criticism to how the A.I. gave a stiff performance to the ethics of recreating actors’ performances with digital technology. With the news that Kilmer’s character Madmartigan will be part of the upcoming
Willow Disney+ original series, a similar A.I. voice recreation technique will probably be employed.,While the digital technology to recreate actors’ performance and voices certainly raise a lot of ethical implications, as was the case with the planned movie that would use a CGI James Dean 65 years after his death, in the case of
Top Gun: Maverick, it is one where all parties involved were okay with it. Kilmer not only appears in the film but gave consent to have his voice recreated. The technology allowed Kilmer to have one more scene as Iceman, giving his character a fitting final farewell and will enable him to reunite with Cruise after 36 years. The technology itself is neither good nor bad, but in
Top Gun: Maverick, it was an instrumental tool in helping the story and paying respect to a great actor.,Next: Why Top Gun: Maverick’s Box Office Broke Tom Cruise Movie Records,Source: Variety