Two years ago Val Kilmer caused a situation when he publicly announced he was in Top Gun 2 before the film was even confirmed. At the time (and before his hasty retraction) he trumpeted he hadn’t even needed to see a script to sign on. Based on growing concerns that his iconic character might actually be dead for all or most of the movie, perhaps he should have looked at the fine print a little closer? Watch the adrenalised trailer again and see if you can spot the turbo-charged clue.
Two-thirds of the way through the new trailer, after lots of thrilling fighter jet sequences, there is an emotional pause.
Whose funeral us that?
It must be someone close to Maverick since he is shown alone by the casket. He salutes. And then the camera pans in closer to highlight to a single object placed carefully on top of the coffin. Carefully, and with enormous significance.
The metal pin with outspread wings can only mean one thing.
Look at the image above of Iceman in his Top Gun heyday. Recognise that pin proudly worn on his gleaming white jacket?
One thing, then, is absolutely certain: the funeral is for someone who trained at Topgun, the Naval Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar.
Of course, this does not guarantee it is Iceman in the final icebox.
Fans are hugely excited for the return of Lt Tom Kazansky. Surely it would be a huge rug-pull to have him in the film in this way?
TOP GUN MAVERICK: WHERE IS KELLY MCGILLIS NOW? NEW PICTURES
The whole trailer sets up a scenario where Maverick is being forced out of his role by superiors tired of his insubordination and unwillingness to play by their rules.
Clearly, a major emotional moment will precipitate something important in the plot. However, it is just as likely it could be the death of a younger pilot, maybe one Maverick is fond of or someone whose death he feels somehow responsible for?
Surely it’s not time to put Kasansky on ice, just yet?
Top Gun: Maverick is released in UK cinemas on July 17, 2020