Val Kilmer Looks Back On His Career, Throat Cancer Battle In Powerful New Documentary

With his Hollywood profile once again on the rise, Val Kilmer is set to offer a candid take on his storied career and his physical health in a new documentary. 

Amazon Prime on Tuesday unveiled the first trailer for “Val,” due to premiere this week at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. The documentary comprises some 40 years’ worth of archival footage to take viewers behind the scenes of Kilmer’s films, including “The Doors,” “Tombstone” and “Batman Forever.” Movie buffs will undoubtedly appreciate the vintage shots of both the actor and his famous pals, including Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn.

Directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo, “Val” doesn’t shy away from the health struggles that prompted Kilmer, now 61, to retreat from the spotlight in recent years. He first went public about his diagnosis with throat cancer in 2017, telling The Hollywood Reporter he’d been living with the disease for two years at the time. 

Catch the trailer for “Val” below. 

After undergoing a tracheotomy, chemotherapy and radiation, Kilmer said in 2020 that he’s been cancer-free for four years. The treatment, however, has diminished the clarity of his speaking voice. Much of Kilmer’s dialogue in the “Val” trailer is possible through the use of a voice box device. 

“I’m still recovering and it’s difficult to talk and to be understood, but I want to tell my story more than ever,” he says in the clip. “It’s a story about my life that is also not my life.”

Kilmer shared similar sentiments on Twitter. “Here’s to giving every day the opportunity to be the most beautiful of your life,” he tweeted Tuesday after unveiling the “Val” trailer. 

“Val,” which hits U.S. theaters July 23 and will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Aug. 6, is being released as Kilmer makes his return to acting. 

He can currently be seen in the crime thriller “The Birthday Cake,” alongside Ewan McGregor and Lorraine Bracco. This fall, he’ll reprise his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in “Top Gun: Maverick,” the long-gestating sequel to the 1986 smash, “Top Gun.” 

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