The first trailer for the documentary Val, which covers the life of prolific actor Val Kilmer, has arrived ahead of its Cannes Film Festival premiere. Kilmer’s career extends across time and genre, defined by iconic roles like Jim Morrison in The Doors, Iceman in Top Gun, and Batman in Batman Forever.
In the trailer, Kilmer says he was the first guy he knew that owned a home video camera, and boy did he use it. In the thousands of hours of footage, there are appearances from fellow actors Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn, behind the scenes looks at his blockbuster films, and an intimate view of the man who spent his life in front of and behind the camera.
Kilmer helped produce the film through A24, with the help of directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo, who spent over nine months digitizing Kilmer’s home videos. Poo told IndieWire that the footage Kilmer recorded “floored” him and Scott. Poo said Kilmer’s video stash is extensive: “He shot over 200 hours of footage just around Red Planet.”
“The more of it you get to see, the more you understand who he is now,” Scott said in the same article. “There was always a sense that he was interested in his own craft. You got the sense from the material that he was knowingly, wisely, gathering some of these things for a bigger story one day.”
The 61-year-old was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015, treatment for which included a tracheotomy. In the trailer, viewers hear the actor speak with the aid of a voice box. Kilmer returns as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, and recently starred in Paydirt alongside his daughter, Mercedes Kilmer.
The actor shared his sweet sentiments on Twitter, “It feels like yesterday and yet it has been a lifetime. As I write this, my documentary is getting ready to premiere at Festival De Cannes. And as grateful as I am for being selected with this high honor, I look forward most to sharing my life’s story with all of you.”
Val hits theaters on July 23, with an Amazon Prime Video debut on August 6.