If there’s one thing that looks to make Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol worth seeing in IMAX – besides the fact that 70 mm screenings of the film will include the Dark Knight Rises prologue – it’s the vertigo-inducing central set piece of the film, where Tom Cruise’s veteran IMF agent Ethan Hunt literally scales the tallest building in the world: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Those who’ve seen the Ghost Protocol teaser trailer in either a regular or IMAX theaters already have a inclination about just how that particular sequence looks up on the big screen. Hence why it’s all the more appropriate that a new Mission: Impossible 4 featurette focuses solely on Cruise’s certifiable fearless antics.

Cruise pulled off similar gravity-defying stunts in previous Mission: Impossible flicks, including his “bare-handed” rock climb at Dead Horse Point in Utah during the pre-opening credits sequence in M:I 2 – and building-leaping maneuvers in M:I 3. Obviously, he performs all these acts via the assistance of safety cables, harnesses, and nets, all of which are digitally-removed after the fact. Plus… the man is certainly more than well-paid for his efforts.

That said: it’s hard not to admire Cruise for looking so casually focused while he climbs and swings around the famed Burj Khalifa skyscraper (which stands about 2,723 feet tall) in the latest Ghost Protocol behind-the-scenes clip.

Check out said featurette below:

Video: Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: Burj Khalifa sizzle

Oscar-winning animation filmmaker Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is making his live-action directorial debut with Ghost Protocol. The cast includes returning faces from previous Mission: Impossible flicks, like Cruise and Simon Pegg – along with a host of newcomers, such as Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, and Cruise’s potential replacement as the series’ leading man: Jeremy Renner.

A second trailer for Ghost Protocol is due to arrive in the near future, so we’ll soon have a better idea of what to expect from this new installment. All the same, early signs point to a fourth Mission: Impossible flick which utilizes the best elements from its predecessors (ie. the conspiracy/mystery plot of Part 1, the hard-hitting martial arts action from Part 2, and the grand set pieces from Part 3) – with the intended effect being that Part 4 feels like a fresh and exciting spin on what this franchise has served up in the past.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol begins a limited release in IMAX theaters around the U.S. on December 16th, 2011. It will commence with a regular wide theatrical release five days later on the 21st.

Source: MSN