It’s not a bird or a plane… it’s Tom Cruise.
After delivering the highest-grossing film of the year with Top Gun: Maverick, the world’s most fearless action star returns to the big screen next summer in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which finds him performing yet another death-defying stunt, as seen in the behind-the-scenes featurette below.
Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who directed the most recent two entries in the franchise — Rogue Nation and Fallout — the seventh installment finds Cruise driving a motorcycle off a cliff in Hellesylt, Norway, where it took the Mission crew months to construct a long ramp over rocky terrain for the complex stunt and figure out how to position cameras to capture it all.
“This is far and away the most dangerous thing we have ever attempted,” Cruise says in the video, noting that the stunt has been in the works for several years and that it took a team of experts (including Base Jumping Coach Miles Daisher) to prepare him for it. “I’ve wanted to do it since I was a little kid,” added Cruise, who did a year of advanced skydiving training and practiced stability in freefall as well as canopy control skills.
You’d think that the high-octane actor might slow down a bit now that he’s in his 60s, but the truth is that he doesn’t know how to slow down — he constantly feels the need for speed.
And lest you think I’m just dropping a cheeky reference to his character in Top Gun: Maverick, I’m not, as Cruise says in the video that he doesn’t even look at the speedometer on his motorcycle, he just gauges how fast he’s going by ear. He did over 500 skydives and 13,000 motocross jumps over a quarry full of cardboard boxes. That’s the level of his dedication and commitment to the audience and his fans.
Wade Eastwood serves as the Stunt Coordinator on Dead Reckoning Part One after handling those duties for Rogue Nation and Fallout, as well as other Cruise movies such as Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, and The Mummy. He also served as Second Unit Director on those films, with the exception of both Edge of Tomorrow and Rogue Nation. Clearly, Cruise trusts Eastwood and has grown comfortable putting his life in his hands and those of his well-trained team.
Cruise and McQuarrie produced the Dead Reckoning Part One, which was executive produced by Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger, as well as Tommy Gormley. Cruise is once again joined by Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, and his original Mission: Impossible co-star Henry Czerny, though Dead Reckoning Part One also adds Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, Greg Tarzan Davis, Charles Parnell, Rob Delaney, Indira Varma, and Cary Elwes.
We’ll see whether Cruise sticks the landing for this stunt — and this franchise — when Paramount releases the latest Mission: Impossible sequel on July 14, 2023, though, with an eighth installment already slated for June 28, 2024, something tells me he will.
Check out the jaw-dropping featurette below: