KITT Gets a New Voice: Val Kilmer

NBC is making some last-minute changes under the hood of its "Knight Rider" update, bringing in Val Kilmer as the voice of KITT.

The "Top Gun" and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" star is taking over voice-over duties from Will Arnett ("Arrested Development"). Instead of the usual "creative differences," though, Arnett's departure was caused by the fact that he's already the voice of a different kind of vehicle.

In the new "Knight Rider," which NBC is calling a sequel to the 1980s series, KITT is a Ford Mustang. Arnett, however, has done commercial voice-overs for GMC Trucks for several years, and General Motors asked him to withdraw from the project, in which Ford is a marketing partner.

"I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT in the new 'Knight Rider' movie," Arnett tells Variety. "However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project."

Kilmer has done a fair amount of voice-over work in his career. He starred in the 1998 animated movie "The Prince of Egypt" and has lent his pipes to several commercials. His recent on-screen credits include "Comanche Moon," "Alexander" and "Wonderland."

"Knight Rider" is scheduled to air Sunday, Feb. 17 on NBC, and if the movie does well it could become a weekly series.