Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
It's a good time to be an '80s actor with a bad reputation. In recent years, Robert Downey Jr. has gone from Hollywood pariah to bona fide leading man, and Mickey Rourke from cautionary tale to inspiring story. Can it be Val Kilmer's turn now, please?
Yes, he's made some bad choices. (The voice of the car in the Knight Rider remake? Yikes. And don't get us started on his awful porn-star movie, Wonderland). But there are so many reasons to love Val, starting with his breakout role as Iceman in Top Gun (Tom who?). Then there's his eerily accurate portrayal of rock's doomed sex god Jim Morrison in The Doors, his unforgettable Doc Holliday in Tombstone, and (children of the '80s, this one's for you) his charming turn as Madmartigan in the fantasy film Willow. More recently, he gave a dazzling performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the 2005 noir comedy that's become a cult favorite.
The biggest problems with Kilmer's career have happened offscreen: drug rumors, a "bad boy" ego and a reputation for being impossible to work with -- even "Hollywood's most difficult leading man." But like his fellow '80s actor buddies, Kilmer is older and more mature -- and seems to finally be getting his act together.
What the actor needs now is a big, juicy role to re-establish himself as an audience favorite, like Rourke did with The Wrestler. Kilmer seems to be hedging his bets: he's already signed on for more than ten films in the coming months. Here are three that have the potential to be a comeback:
- In Georgia, Kilmer will play an American journalist who gets caught in the crossfire during the Russian-Georgian war.
- In Fake Identity, Kilmer will play a doctor who helps a woman escape a killer in Chechnya (what's with all the cold climates, Val?).
- In The Irishman, a mafia movie inspired by a true story, Kilmer will play the police detective who befriends Irish-American mobster Danny Greene.
And there's one more film in the works that could either make or break Kilmer: a big-screen adaptation of the Saturday Night Live skit MacGruber, in which Kilmer plays a villain named (ahem) Cunth. The film is rumored to be a super-violent, "hard-R" comedy, which makes us think of Tropic Thunder -- a movie that scored Robert Downey Jr. a very surprising Best Supporting Actor nomination.
Whatever happens, Iceman, you can always be our wingman.
Do you think it's time for a Val Kilmer comeback? Chime in below!