Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Director Shares Glimpse Of Tom Cruise Standing On A Flying Plane As Film Wraps For The Holidays

tom cruise in mission: impossible - dead reckoning part one
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

At this point, it feels like the two upcoming Mission: Impossible sequels have been filming forever. The second of those two movies, which are both subtitled Dead Reckoning, has been filmed over most of this year, and the cast and crew have been working hard. And in his spare time, director Christopher McQuarrie has gifted fans with some sweet behind-the-scenes photos. Just recently, the M:I team wrapped for the holidays (and I’m sure they’re ready for the break). With that, McQuarrie marked the occasion by giving us a look at Tom Cruise… standing on a flying plane.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two has been filming since around February 2022, with much of the principal photography having taken place in South Africa. It’s there that Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise and the team have been working on a previously-teased aerial sequence that sees Cruise performing his own stunts (as per usual). McQuarrie signified the holiday wrap with a grateful Instagram post, which included a truly beautiful shot that shows his leading man in the distance: 

I don't know what’s more beautiful: the scenic backdrop or the sight of Tom Cruise once again willingly risking his life to pull off an amazing stunt. In all seriousness though, that’s a gorgeous photo and a nice way for the director to mark the end of this production phase. In his post, the Top Gun: Maverick writer/producer also shared a very sweet message in which he reflected on the team’s work in South Africa and thanked the citizens of the country for their contributions. He also shouted out the aerial team:

Words cannot express our gratitude for all South Africa has given us. The scope, scale and beauty cannot be described and truly must be seen to be believed. … A special thanks to our extraordinary aerial unit for doing what many said could never be done. You did the impossible every day and brought us all home safely. You are truly the stuff of legend.

Count me as one of the people who never would’ve thought that such a thing would be possible. So far, one gets the notion that this scene could be the centerpiece of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two. It was first teased during a pre-recorded intro of Tom Cruise, which was screened before the M:I footage presented at Cinemacon earlier this year. Christopher McQuarrie then released another BTS still from it in order to mark Cruise’s 60th birthday. And widely enough, that’s only one of the crazy stunts we’ll be treated to within these two movies, which will apparently close the book on Ethan Hunt’s story.

There’s also the awesome motorcycle sequence that was teased in the Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One trailer. It’s pretty clear by this point that the director and his leading man aren’t playing around and are planning to give fans a true spectacle. They’ve done so with past installments in the franchise, so that’s really saying something. 

Like many others, I’m excited to see what lies ahead in these next two flicks, and Christopher McQuarrie and co. have even more big moments to film in the new year. More immediately, however, let’s hope they all have a great holiday break. That post alone is proof that they’ve earned it.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One opens in theaters on July 14 as part of the schedule of 2023 new movie releases, while Part Two arrives on June 28, 2024.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.