Tom Cruise says ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ motorcycle stunt was shot on the first day of production so everyone knew if they could keep going or if it needed a ‘major rewrite’
Tom Cruise says there’s a simple explanation for why his thrilling stunt of driving a motorcycle off a cliff was completed on the very first day of production on “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1″ — there would need to be a major change to the story if it wasn’t successful.
“We know either we will continue with the film or we’re not. Let’s know day one!” Cruise told “Entertainment Tonight” (at the 2:00 mark). “Let us know day one what is going to happen: Do we all continue or is it a major rewrite?”
“I was training and I was ready,” Cruise continued. “You have to be razor sharp when you’re doing something like that. It was very important as we were prepping the film that it was actually the first thing. I don’t want to drop that and go shoot other things and have my mind somewhere else. Everyone was prepped. Let’s just get it done.”
The stunt is the latest thrilling moment in the “M:I” franchise that has seen Cruise do everything from hang onto the side of a plane as it takes off to perform a HALO jump with a broken ankle.
Though those stunts were all extremely dangerous for Cruise to pull off, this one might be the most death-defying to date for the superstar.
The stunt has Cruise driving a motorcycle off a cliff in Norway. Then in mid-air, he disposes of the bike and free-falls until he opens his parachute.
To train for it, Cruise did 500 skydives and over 13,000 motocross jumps. And that wasn’t just so Cruise had the skill and comfort to pull off the stunt; the training also made it possible for director Christopher McQuarrie and his crew to map out camera angles to capture it.
McQuarrie recently told Empire a stunt like this has to be done at the start of production because then plot points can be written into the movie as to why Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt jumped off the cliff in the first place.
“Doing that on day one gave us all the time in the world to understand why he was doing what he was doing,” McQuarrie said. “If we sat around and tried to figure out these movies the old-fashioned way, you’d never find it, simply because it’s such a living, breathing thing.”
Cruise ended up doing the stunt six times on the first day of shooting. That meant a lot of cleanup.
Insider has learned from a source close to production that after each jump, a team at ground level in Norway was responsible for recovering and disposing of all the broken pieces of motorcycle that shattered on impact before the next jump was attempted.
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