Skip to main content

Tom Cruise Saved Mission: Impossible Millions Of Dollars By Doing One Simple Thing After Breaking His Ankle On Set, Simon Pegg Recalls

Tom Cruise peering past brick wall in Mission: Impossible - Fallout
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise has become famous not only for his movies but for the fact that Cruise performs all of his own stunts in those movies. He’s willing to put himself at significant risk in order to ensure the realism of the scene by doing everything practically whenever possible. There was one time, however, when the worst happened and Cruise injured himself on the set of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, though even then, Simon Pegg says Cruise was an absolute professional.

In a recent appearance on SiriusXM, Simon Pegg was asked about Tom Cruise putting himself in harm's way and Pegg admits that he has no idea how Tom Cruise is able to get an insurance company to underwrite his movies By putting himself on the line, if Cruise gets hurt, the movie has to stop filming and millions can be lost, which, in the case of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, is exactly what happened. Pegg explained...

I get asked that a lot and I honestly don’t know [how Tom Cruise movies insure themselves]. I think he underwrites it or something. Like he broke his ankle on the last one. That was the first time he’d kind of injured himself and obviously lost his no claims bonus on his insurance policy.

We actually know for as fact that insuring Mission: Impossible movies isn’t always easy. When filming Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the insurance company reportedly would not allow Tom Cruise to scale the Burj Khalifa. Cruise response was to fire the insurance company, and hire one that would let him do the astunt himself. 

Of course, when Tom Cruise actually broke his ankle, it was the insurance company’s worst nightmare. The movie was going to need to shut down, and a lot of money would be lost. However, Tom Cruise still made sure to do everything he could to help the movie. Pegg says that after Cruise broke his ankle, he still finished the shot, which was vital to the movie. Pegg continues… 

The weird thing was: He’s running along, he jumps between these two buildings, hits the wall, and he put his leg out to steady himself, which wasn’t in the kind of “list” of things he had to do to do this stunt. The minute he kind of deviated, broke his ankle. And you see it in the film. He gets up and he kind of limps out of shot. That was him being a producer not an actor, knowing that if he didn’t clear the shot, it was going to cost the production millions and millions of dollars. So he limps out on a shattered, liquid ankle.

The shot that we actually see of Tom Cruise leaping between buildings is the actual take where his ankle was broken. We see him climb up and limp out of the frame. As Simon Pegg says, that was important because getting the shot of him continuing the chase would have been difficult later. The movie may have changed locations by then, and the insurance company probably wasn’t going to love the idea of Cruise making the jump again anyway.

Simon Pegg praises Cruise for having the wherewithal to finish the shot, because it was what the movie needed. After that, the movie was forced to shut down while Tom Cruise healed up, and while the doctor was apparently not optimistic about what Cruise would be able to do after the bones healed, Cruise proved the doctor wrong. Pegg concludes saying…

The logistics of not completing that moment would have just caused a huge headache. So he managed to just kind of [limp off], and then he just collapsed. Then the doctor told him he could possibly never run again. He said, ‘You probably won’t walk for nine months, you won’t sprint perhaps ever.’ Nine weeks later, he’s sprinting across the top of a bridge in London.

We know Tom Cruise will be back doing insane things in the recently titled Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One and Part Two. He survived shooting the first movie without injury. Hopefully the same will be the case with the one currently in production. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.