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'Mission Impossible 7' is set to hit theaters next year. Will Tom Cruise ever leave the franchise that sees him perform death-defying stunts?

‘Mission Impossible 7’: Will Tom Cruise ever end this franchise?

If anyone thought that Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise was going to take it easy following more than a year of COVID-19 related delays, they’re in for a surprise.

At CinemaCon, Paramount shared a featurette detailing what might be the most dangerous stunt ever committed to film. The stunt will be featured in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7, which is set to hit theaters on May 27, 2022.

The jump

The CinemaCon presentation showed Tom Cruise drives a motorcycle off a cliff, jumps off in mid-air, then parachutes to the bottom of a massive gorge. There was no CGI involved, Cruise actually performed this death-defying stunt. In order to prepare for this stunt, Tom Cruise completed nearly 500 skydives, as well as 13,000 motocross jumps on a track.

In order to catch the stunt on film director Christopher McQuarrie and his team rigorously tested new cameras, lenses, as well as drone technology in order to follow the stunt as it was performed in real time. Cruise ran through test jumps with a GPS tracker so McQuarrie’s team could calculate different trajectories. The actual ramp had to be built in a remote part of Norway, so each piece had to be flown in by helicopter.

After months of preparation, they planned to shoot the stunt on the first day of production. Cruise pulled off the stunt not once, but six times. He progressively pulled his parachute later each time, trying to make the stunt more dramatic. McQuarrie said that after wrapping the production of the stunt the only thing he was afraid of is whatever they have planned for Mission: Impossible 8.

Cruise’s history of stunts

This incredible level of preparation has become something of a trademark for Cruise. The actor trained with a free-diving expert to hold his breath for four to six minutes for a stunt in the fifth Mission: Impossible film.

For Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tom Cruise actually learned how to fly a helicopter, working sixteen-hour days with instructors in order to accrue the required 2,000 hours of flight time. Cruise also became the first actor to do a HALO jump on film. HALO stands for high altitude, low opening, meaning Cruise jumped from a height above 25,000 feet but didn’t open his parachute until he plummeted below 2,000 feet.

While the trailers for Fallout were packed with unbelievable action sequences, they actually withheld some of the film’s biggest stunts from trailers. If they’re showing off this incredible stunt for Mission: Impossible 7 now then they are likely saving some great action set pieces for the theaters.

Seven & eight

Mission: Impossible 7 has had its shooting & release schedules impacted by COVID-19. The film was shooting in Italy in early 2020, but production halted after the country expanded its quarantine in March. The production shifted to Surrey, England, but not before a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine for the cast & crew.

The seventh film will of course see the return of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, an agent of the fictitious Impossible Missions Force. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, and Henry Czerny are set to reprise their roles. Newcomers to the film include Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Rob Delaney, Charles Parnell, Mark Gatiss, and Pom Klementieff.

Mission: Impossible 7 is not going to be the last we see of Ethan Hunt. In 2019, Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie announced that the seventh & eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible franchise would be shot back-to-back. COVID-related delays and Cruise’s promotional schedule for Top Gun: Maverick derailed those plans. The eighth film is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on July 7, 2023.

Do you think the new Mission: Impossible will be able to top some of Cruise’s most incredible stunts? Are you looking forward to the new film? Let us know in the comments below.

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