Tom Cruise shows how his latest – and easily most daring – stunt came together in a new featurette for his upcoming spy thriller Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Without question, Cruise is one of if not the most dedicated actor working today when it comes to doing his own stunts for his films, particularly for the Mission: Impossible series. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011 found the actor clinging to the side of the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa in Dubai), while Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in 2015 opened with the spectacular sequence of Cruise clinging to the side of a cargo plane as it took flight.
Cruise clearly likes to raise the stakes for each of his M:I films, so it didn't come as a complete surprise when producer David Ellison in March 2017 revealed that Cruise had trained more than a year to execute the marquee stunt for Mission: Impossible - Fallout. At CinemaCon in April, Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie finally unveiled what the stunt entailed, where Cruise would be making a HALO jump out of a planet at 25,000 feet.
Now, M:I 6 is showing what actually went into the jump with a new featurette that shows Cruise performing the harrowing stunt. Not surprisingly, the stunt took an enormous amount of planning, as McQuarrie noted that he and Cruise had been "talking about it for a number of years." When it finally came together, second unit director and stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood said "Tom will be the first actor to do a HALO jump on camera." HALO, for the uninitiated, is an acronym of "High Altitude Low Open," as military paratroopers jump out of a plane at 25,000 feet but don't open their parachutes until 2,000 feet as a way to sneak into a foreign country without being detected.
Highlighting several different crew members as well as McQuarrie and Cruise, the featurette provides a fascinating look into the death-defying stunt, which naturally came with a great amount of risks. Producer Jake Myers says "there is a danger of hypoxia and the bends" – meaning there's deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues and decompression sickness, respectively – so the production had to design a special helmet that functions "both as a prop and a life-saving device."
The featurette also focuses on Cruise's dedication to getting the shot just right, as he did the HALO jump 100 times (along with a cameraman) to get the best takes possible as they filmed the sequence over the United Arab Emirates. Cruise showed a similar amount of moxie last year, when it was revealed he did 64 takes to achieve the jaw-dropping zero gravity sequence during the hair-raising plane crash seen in The Mummy.
While the M:I Fallout featurette gives a thrilling look at the sequence, it's merely only a teaser to what promises to be one of the most spectacular practical effects stunts ever put on the big screen. Sure, Cruise's films can be hit and miss with audiences, but one thing fans can never question is the actor's 100 percent dedication to entertaining moviegoers, where not even the sky is the limit for his stunts.
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018