Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 by
Amazon Studios and A24’s documentary VAL, about the life and career of actor Val Kilmer, just released its official trailer. The documentary boasts to have been “more than 40 years in the making” and features tons of unseen footage from Kilmer’s personal recordings. The actor brought his camera almost everywhere he went, and the trailer shows behind-the-scenes footage from classics like Tombstone, Top Gun, and more.
Kilmer has been out of the limelight for some time after a. His voice has been reduced to a rasp, and he must speak with a larynx speech aid device. His son, Jack, did voiceover work for the film (and ostensibly, the trailer) as a stand-in for his father. Despite his difficulty speaking, however, Kilmer wanted to be vocal about his experiences in Hollywood.
“It is difficult to talk and be understood,” he says through Jack’s voiceover. “But I want to tell my story more than ever.”
The actor notes that he was the first person he knew to own a video camera. There’s footage of him recording himself and others on various film sets — Kevin Bacon seems particularly intrigued by Kilmer’s camera. He records everything until he’s told not to, and maybe even after that, to the chagrin of several collaborators shown in the trailer.
“I’m an actor. I’ve lived a magical life. And I’ve captured quite a bit of it,” Kilmer narrates over grainy video footage. His life, like his career, has been captured for everyone else to consume.
Kilmer’s career kicked off with some very funny performances, including the spy spoof Top Secret! and “nerds are cool actually” college comedy Real Genius. Since then, he’s worked with everyone from Oliver Stone to Francis Ford Coppola. He’s Iceman in Top Gun, Moses in The Prince of Egypt, the “ghost” of Elvis in True Romance. Kilmer has played quite a few larger-than-life characters, including The Doors frontman Jim Morrison and the caped crusader himself in Batman Forever. Kilmer has played a little bit of everything in his prolific career, but the documentary will show us the man behind these iconic characters like never before.
“I see myself as a sensitive, intelligent human being, but with the soul of a clown,” he says in the trailer.
The documentary is the first to be produced by indie powerhouse A24. VAL will debut in theaters and on Amazon Prime on August 6, 2021.
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