'Top Gun'' s Val Kilmer Speaks at the United Nations in New York City After Throat Cancer Battle

Val Kilmer has been stepping out more after taking a step back from the spotlight in recent years

Val Kilmer is enjoying his time in the spotlight after taking time off to focus on his health.

Fresh off of several appearances in the last two months, Kilmer, 59, once again stepped out over the weekend for the NOVUS Summit SDG Moonshots at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Dressed in a grey suit with his customary scarf wrapped loosely around his neck, Kilmer seemed in good spirits as he attended the event.

The actor was on hand to deliver a speech before being honored for his work with the TwainMania Foundation, created to educated children on author Mark Twain’s legacy.

His outing comes just days after his costar Tom Cruise took fans by surprise when he stopped by the San Diego Comic-Con and debuted the first trailer to the highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick. Both actors are reprising their iconic characters in the sequel to the hit 1986 movie.

Val Kilmer
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Sipa

“You’ve all asked for many, many years asking, ‘Why don’t you do another one? When are you going to do another one?’ In 34 years you guys have been very, very patient with me,” Cruise told the excited crowd.

“I felt it was my responsibility to finally really deliver for you. I have a little piece here if you want to see it. This is our very first trailer. You are the first people in the world to see it. And everything you see in this film is for real,” Cruise added. “For me, Top Gun is about competition, it is about family, sacrifice, heroism, aviation. It’s a love letter to aviation.”

Titled Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel takes place decades after the 1986 original film and features Cruise’s return as Maverick with Teller playing Bradley Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards’s pilot Goose.

Cruise and Kilmer star in the film alongside Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell and Ed Harris.

Hamm recently teased the film in an interview with Collider in which he said, “They’re using some technology on this that is never before seen.

“We’re shooting the movie in, I think, 6K,” Hamm added. “So it’s incredibly hi-def. The aerial footage is mind-blowing. And it’s mostly practical. There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs.”

Tom Cruise Top Gun: Maverick Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick (2022). Kids, don't try this at home. Paramount Pictures

Kilmer’s comeback role in the film comes after what has been a mysterious Hollywood hiatus for the actor. After years of rumored health problems, he finally opened up about his battle with throat cancer during a December 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

His health issues first became apparent in January 2015, when a spokesperson told PEOPLE that he was rushed to the hospital “for a possible tumor.” Soon after, he took to Facebook to deny having a tumor, saying only that he “had a complication.”

Further rumors were repeatedly shut down by Kilmer, who was spotted out with a tracheostomy tube in October 2015 and then without it the next February.

Kilmer opened up about his cancer recovery to The Hollywood Reporter in an interview alongside his children with his ex-wife Joanne Whalley: Mercedes and Jack, 22.

The article revealed that the actor’s two-year fight with throat cancer had “taken its toll” on the family and noted that Kilmer had undergone a procedure on his trachea which made his voice raspy and left him short of breath.

Top Gun: Maverick is set for a June 26, 2020 release.

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