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Tom Cruise Performed Mission Impossible 7's Biggest Stunt On Day 1, In Case He Died

Cruise explained the logic behind that decision in a recent interview.

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The Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One cast and crew filmed the movie's most dangerous stunt on the very first day of production. The reason? If star Tom Cruise was injured or died performing the stunt, the production could halt or shift gears without costing absurd amounts of money.

In the stunt in question, Cruise rides a motorcycle off a cliff and then base jumps from the air to safety. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight (via Variety), Cruise explained the logic of doing the stunt the very first day of production. "Well we know either we will continue with the film or we’re not. Let’s know day one!" he said, “Let us know day one what is going to happen: Do we all continue or is it a major rewrite?”

He elaborated that he didn't want to distract from such dangerous stunt with any of the other work of filming. He added, "I was training and I was ready. 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."

MI7 director Christopher McQuarrie talked about the reasoning in a more story-driven way. In a interview with Empire Magazine, he said, "Doing that on day one gave us all the time in the world to understand why he [Ethan] was doing what he was doing. 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.”

If you want to find out more about this stunt, a behind-the-scenes video was released back in December 2022. Production on MI8 has been delayed amid the ongoing writer's strike. Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One releases on July 12, 2023.

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