If you're looking for proof why Tom Cruise has been an action movie mainstay since the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, you don't have to look very far. His commitment to acting craft – particularly in his Mission: Impossible films – is all up there on the big screen, as Cruise rarely uses stuntmen to suspend the disbelief of his audiences.
The wonderful thing is, as Cruise, 54, moves on in his years, he seems to up the stunt ante with each M:I picture that comes down the pike. If hanging off the side of a skyscraper in Dubai in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011 wasn't enough, he decided to hang off the side of a cargo plane for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in 2015; and that was a stunt he performed to kick off the film.
Not surprisingly, Cruise had adapted a "You ain't seen nothin' yet" attitude for the yet-to-be subtitled Mission: Impossible 6. In an interview at SXSW with Collider, Skydance Media CEO and M:I producer David Ellison said that Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie (returning to the helm after the success of Rogue Nation) are concocting a stunt even more spectacular than anything that blew moviegoers mind in the previous M:I installments:
"We’re thrilled. Chris is back, obviously, writing and directing after Rogue Nation ... And I will say after the Burj [Khalifa] we thought it was going to be impossible to top that stunt, and then Tom did the A380 for the plane. What Tom is doing in this movie I believe will top anything that’s come before. It is absolutely unbelievable—he’s been training for a year. It is going to be, I believe, the most impressive and unbelievable thing that Tom Cruise has done in a movie, and he has been working on it since right after Rogue Nation came out. It’s gonna be mind-blowing."
Ellison praised Cruise's never-ending commitment to entertaining his audiences – as well as respecting them – because they're smart enough to tell the difference between what's real and what's not:
“Tom’s entire mantra for hanging on the side of the Burj Khalifa or the A380 or literally holding your breath for six minutes underwater to do the Taurus sequence is, in a world of massive [visual] effects, he said the audience can tell when it’s you on a green screen or when you’re actually doing it live. And the tension, because the stunt is real, actually puts the audience where Ethan Hunt is where they are in the movie. He said that’s why he does it; it’s all about entertaining an audience and it makes the movie better.”
Like previous M:I installment, Mission: Impossible 6 promises to be an international affair, as Ellison says the film will shoot in three different countries when it goes into production, which will be for a period of about 90-100 days. The plot of the film – set for a July 2018 release – and details of Cruise's next major stunt remain under wraps.
Of course, the most exciting development to come out of the product of late is the addition of Batman V Superman and Man From U.N.C.L.E. star Henry Cavill to the cast. The Man of Steel will be flexing his muscles this time around as the right-hand of Cruise's boss in the film, and whether that boss will be Alec Baldwin again, is yet to be seen. Definitely returning for Mission: Impossible 6 are Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson – the Swedish actress who proved to be a worthy match for Cruise in Rogue Nation. Of course, all eyes will still be on Cruise, one of the few actors in Hollywood today who continues to make the impossible possible.