Mission: Impossible – Fallout director on how Tom Cruise pulled off HALO jump and helicopter stunt
Instead of training eight hours a day for three months to complete training in order to get a license to fly the required helicopters, Tom Cruise trained for 16 hours a day for six weeks.
The Mission: Impossible movie franchise has become synonymous with daring stunts where lead actor Tom Cruise climbs the highest building in the world or hangs off the side of a speeding plane. Cruise returns as the roguish spy in the sixth movie of the series with the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
Director Christopher McQuarrie, who is the only director to return for a Mission: Impossible film, spoke to Inverse breaking down each stunt scene and how the cast and crew managed to pull each one off.
In one of the film's most breathtaking set pieces, Cruise — who famously does his own stunts — pilots a helicopter though mountain ravines. Instead of training eight hours a day for three months to complete training in order to get a license to fly the required helicopters, the actor trained for 16 hours a day for six weeks. “A few months later Tom was doing a downward spiral, which is not something I would advise even the most experienced pilot to do,” said McQuarrie.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout also sees Cruise become the first actor on camera to perform a HALO (high altitude, low opening) skydive from 25,000 feet. “Everything you’re watching Tom Cruise do in that sequence, the cameraman is doing backward,” McQuarrie said, noting that the camera operator had to do "everything by sense of feel” as he couldn't actually see through the camera.
In August last year, the production for the movie went on a hiatus when Cruise got injured while jumping off the roof of a building and colliding with the wall of another building. Cruise's ankle injury came as a blessing in disguise for the director, giving him a much needed break to figure out the film. He said the injury of their lead star changed the entire shape of the production.
The director said they decided to start editing the film while they were still shooting and it helped them up the ante from the previous versions.
Also starring Simon Pegg, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin, the film releases this Friday.
(With inputs from agencies)
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