Val Kilmer is set to reprise his role as fighter pilot Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky opposite Tom Cruise in the sequel to Eighties blockbuster Top Gun.

The news, which was first reported by US entertainment website The Wrap, follows the start of production last week on the long-awaited action adventure, which is entitled Top Gun: Maverick and focuses on drone technology.

It is due in cinemas on July 12, 2019. 

Last Thursday, Cruise shared a photo of himself in costume as Top Gun hero Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell with the caption: "#Day1" and the fighter pilot's catchphrase "Feel the need" written across the picture.

#Day1 pic.twitter.com/7jjPL277Es

— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) May 31, 2018

Cruise's role as Maverick in the late Tony Scott's 1986 film propelled the actor to global stardom.

Last July, producer Jerry Bruckheimer said the new film would be in cinemas for July 2019, with Cruise reuniting with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski. Original Top Gun director Tony Scott passed away in 2012. 

In May 2017, Kilmer - who has battled cancer in recent years - wrote on Facebook: "Friends said it's official - #TOPGUN2 was announced today. I'm ready Tom - still got my top gun plaque! Still got the moves! Still got the lips! Still got it!"

Cruise will next be seen in cinemas in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. The sixth film in the espionage franchise opens on July 26.

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