Val Kilmer’s home movies get doc treatment – The Hollywood Reporter
Val Kilmer had fallen out of favor with the Hollywood establishment – the Batman forever and Top Gun the star was deemed too tough, too pugnacious to work with – by the time editor Leo Scott met him around 2011 or 2012. Kilmer needed help putting together footage for his ambitious new solo show Mark Twain, Citizen Twain, and Scott was drafted to help the determined actor.
Along the way, Kilmer revealed to Scott that he had amassed hundreds of hours of films and videotapes that were stored in boxes stacked in the garage. The gang began with films he made as a child with his two brothers, Mark and Wesley, growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth. Tragically, Wesley – the director of the trio – passed away weeks before Val became the youngest person at the time to be admitted to Juilliard’s esteemed acting program at 17.
Kilmer never put the camera down after Wesley’s death. Scott has spent over nine months converting over a thousand hours of analog footage to digital images, including Kilmer’s time at Juilliard and home videos of his two children, Mercedes and Jack, and his former wife. , Joanne Whalley. There are also behind-the-scenes footage that Kilmer shot on film sets, including Top Gun, Batman foreverr, tomb stone and Doctor Moreau’s island, one of Hollywood’s most epic production disasters (viewers can expect to see plenty of candid clips of some of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars).
Years later, in 2018, after throat cancer and a tracheostomy left Kilmer’s voice reduced to a rasp, Scott and his fellow editor Ting Poo – who worked on the award-winning short documentary. Oscars 2017 Heaven is a traffic jam on the 405 – convinced the actor to use the footage as the basis for a new autobiographical documentary that she and Scott would co-direct with him. Kilmer said yes, adding that he wanted it to premiere at Cannes.
On July 7, the 61-year-old actor will make his wish come true by Val, from Amazon Studios and A24, is making its world premiere on the Croisette. Kilmer’s health issues might prevent him from attending, but his children should be there.
Kilmer acknowledges in the doc that he could be tough on the directors and the crew; a clip of him berating him Dr Moreau cinematographer William Fraker is among the images shown. It’s equally clear that being a real actor is difficult in Hollywood, a point he’s made in the past. There’s also a clip of him and the late director John Frankenheimer on the set of Dr Moreau during a not-so-friendly exchange. Frankenheimer is apparently furious when Kilmer doesn’t turn off his camera.
“Val is a very complex and brilliant man with so many layers. And we wanted to try to get that feeling of him in the movie, from his spirituality to a great sense of humor, ”Scott said. THR. “We never considered doing any other way with interviews with third parties. We were very clear on this very early on. “
Jack Kilmer replaces the narrator, speaking as if he were his father (Val also speaks). “It made so much sense and added such an emotional layer to the whole thing. We are really very happy that Jack has agreed to do this, ”says Poo. “At the end of the day, it’s really a celebration of storytelling, movies, and the creative spirit.”
“Val is a very complex and brilliant man with so many layers. And we wanted to try and get that feeling of him in the movie, from his spirituality to a great sense of humor, ”Scott said in a recent interview with THR. “We never considered doing any other way with interviews with third parties. We were very clear on this very early on. “
Amazon and A24 are planning a fall release for Val in theaters and on Prime. Top Gun: Maverick, in which Kilmer reprizes his role as Iceman, is also hitting theaters this fall.