Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie have revealed the biggest and most elaborate stunt from Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Cruise has become infamous for continuously upping the ante for himself with each new Mission: Impossible film, as far as the stunt-work is concerned. After swinging around the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa) for 2011's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Cruise found a way to top his own efforts by hanging onto the side of a plane for the opening sequence in 2015's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
Cruise and his Rogue Nation helmsman McQuarrie, who is making history with Fallout by being the first director to tackle multiple Mission: Impossible movies, have been teasing their plans to (somehow) top Rogue Nation's best stunt for some time. Among other things, Fallout features Cruise maneuvering a helicopter on his own and leaping between buildings in a move that led to the actor breaking his foot. Now, however, Cruise's grandest and most dangerous stunt in the film - presumable the same one he spent a year training to perform - has been unveiled, and it's somehow even more ridiculous than all that.
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During Paramount's film presentation at CinemaCon 2018 in Las Vegas (hat tip BMD), Cruise and McQuarrie revealed that the biggest stunt in Fallout involves Cruise and his costar Henry Cavill performing a free-fall from a plane 35,000 feet in the air. More than that, the sequence was filmed in a single take by a crew member who jumped alongside Cruise and had a camera attached to the top of their head. The cameraman had to stay but a few feet away from Cruise throughout the stunt and wound up doing 100 takes total, resulting in three takes that were deemed usable.
The Fallout sequence was fully mapped out ahead of time via an animatic, which Cruise and McQuarrie showed to the CinemaCon crowd before unveiling raw footage from the actual stunt. Cruise further revealed that the action sequence was shot over the United Arab Emirates, adding that "We wouldn't have been able to do this anywhere else. They were... very helpful." The actor and McQuarrie then rounded out the presentation by showing another sequence from the movie (an elaborate chase scene set in Paris) and a recut of the first Fallout trailer that included new material.
In an era where most action movie stunts are performed by stunt actors and/or enhanced through CGI, Cruise prides himself on handling his own film stunts in a practical fashion. Those efforts have largely paid off for the actor when it comes to the Mission: Impossible series, with both Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation being celebrated for boasting some of the most impressive action sequences and stunts featured in any modern blockbuster. Fallout is shaping up to perform equally well with critical and general audiences alike, which begs the question: how the heck is Cruise going to top himself in Mission: Impossible 7, should it happen?
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018