Val Kilmer, 62, will not play Madmartigan in the recently released Disney+ sequel series Willow due to unresolved health issues from his cancer treatment.
Due to health issues during the pandemic, the throat cancer survivor could not participate in Disney+’s relaunch of Willow, in which he would have reprised his 1988 portrayal.
“As COVID took over the world, it became insurmountable,” showrunner Jonathan Kasdan explains. “We were preparing in the spring when it peaked. Val also resisted the urge to speak up.”
“We had to figure out a way to keep the story we wanted to tell him about how his journey was unfolding,” he explained.
“I remember seeing Val shortly after this thing started and telling her, ‘Listen, we’re doing this, and the entire world wants Madmartigan back,’” Kasdan continued. “Not nearly as much as I do,” he replied.
“As I walked away, he hugged me. ‘I’m still very strong,’ he said as he lifted me. And I thought to myself, ‘Wonderful.’ We began planning his appearance in the first season. To be honest, we couldn’t get him until late in the procedure.”
Regardless of his decision, Kasdan stated that Kilmers has the opportunity to appear in the new series.
“We wanted to commemorate his spirit while also leaving the door open to any future possibilities. “We’ve attempted to engage with him in a way that allows him to be heard and felt, if not seen,” Kasan said.
Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 but did not publicly discuss it until 2017. His ex-wife, English actress Joanne Whalley, 61, and their children, Jack, 27, and Mercedes, 30, were behind his decision to undergo chemotherapy.
He initially refused conventional treatment because he believed his Christian Science faith would cure the tumors.
Kilmer also had a tracheotomy, a medical procedure that connected the windpipe to a hole in the front of the neck, which altered his speaking voice significantly.
However, Kilmer kept playing Iceman because advances in artificial intelligence technology allowed filmmakers to recreate his distinct speech patterns using recordings of him speaking.
Kilmer initially concealed his cancer diagnosis. Nonetheless, he eventually revealed his feelings in interviews, his autobiography I’m Your Huckleberry, and his documentary Val, which is now available on Amazon Prime.
“I’ve been cancer-free for more than four years now, with no recurrence,” he claimed in I’m Your Huckleberry. “I am deeply grateful.”
Kilmer explained on Twitter how painting gave him solace due to his voice damage. However, he stated that when one item is taken away, another is given in its place.
“My creative juices were boiling over and pouring out of me, but I had no voice to express them. I rediscovered my creative side and began writing and drawing again. “Art provided me with a healing experience.”
Kilmer is a talented actor who recognizes the therapeutic value of art. Various artistic pursuits (such as singing, dancing, painting, or crafting) are used by some people in conjunction with or after cancer treatment.
After losing a loved one to cancer, some people use art to cope with their emotions. It doesn’t matter when or how you approach art; its therapeutic effects on mental health are well-documented and supported.
Indeed, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, creative activities can reduce stress and improve mental health in as little as an hour. That is true, according to the author, regardless of artistic ability or experience.
It is critical to stay informed, even if determining how or why we develop specific types of cancer is frequently tricky.
The use of alcohol and cigarettes, as well as the human papillomavirus, or HPV, typically associated with women and can cause cervical cancer, are all risk factors for throat cancer. The sexually transmitted disease, affecting both men and women, has been linked to throat cancer.
According to Dr. Jessica Geiger of the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, HPV can cause cancer in both men and women. The HPV strains that cause throat cancer are the same as the viruses that cause cervical cancer.
Most HPV-related throat cancer patients are men in their 40s or 50s who have never or only occasionally smoked.