(Daily360.com) – In 1996, “Mission: Impossible” hit the big screen starring Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, and Emmanuelle Béart. Since then, Cruise has played the character Ethan Hunt in five more sequels and is now reprising his role once again for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One” — the seventh iteration, set for release in the summer of 2023.
While many actors choose to use stunt doubles while filming to keep themselves out of harm’s way, Cruise has done all of his own daring feats during the movies, and the most recent film is no different. This time, however, the actor completed his greatest and most dangerous stunt yet, and it took years to get him ready.
The “Mission: Impossible” movies are action thrillers following a secret agent through harrowing circumstances while he completes covert operations deemed impossible. On December 19, Cruise shared a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most exciting and daring stunts so far in the films — riding a motorcycle off a cliff. The actor and writer/director Christopher McQuarrie devised a plan to pull off the stunt, shot in Norway. Cruise said he’s wanted to pull off this feat since he was a child.
The stunt starts with the actor riding a motocross bike down a ramp, careening off the end of a cliff, dropping down the chasm, and opening up a parachute to navigate safely to the bottom — unscathed. Cruise skydived more than 500 times to perfect his technique and jumped with the bike over 13,000 times to pull it off. In fact, the performer said he drilled by practicing dozens of jumps per day to get the move just right. His life literally depended on it.
The nine-minute video showed every aspect of the shoot. It included everything the cast and crew had to build in order to pull off the stunt, the cameras they had to use to get the best angles, Cruise’s training, and footage of the final product.
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) December 19, 2022
The Actor’s Mission
While secret agent Ethan Hunt has his own missions throughout the films in the franchise, the actor who plays him has only one mission with this stunt: to give the audience a “thrill.” To accomplish that task, fans needed to feel like they were going off the cliff with the character.
That technological challenge took state-of-the-art cameras strategically placed, with some on drones, to get the shot the crew needed. Once the massive ramp was constructed for the jump in Norway, Cruise and the crew had to wait for the right weather conditions to complete the stunt. On the day of the shoot, the filmmakers strapped a GPS tracker on the actor to follow him in real-time. He jumped his motorcycle off the cliff six times and safely parachuted to the bottom of the canyon.
In the end, all the hard work and training paid off because Cruise got the shot he wanted. How will they top the stunt for the next movie?
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