Incredible action and death-defying stunts performed by lead actor Tom Cruise have long been the hallmark of the Mission: Impossible franchise. But on the latest chapter in the franchise, Mission: Impossible-Fallout, Tom Cruise suffered a horrific broken ankle in the execution of one of those stunts. This injury caused production to be temporarily shutdown while the actor healed. Despite that, the film was still able to use the take where the actor was hurt in the final film. Tom Cruise explained what was going through his head in the moment and why that take was usable, saying:
I didn't want to do it again. I knew instantly it was broken and I just run past [the] camera, we got the shot. It's in the movie. That profile shot -- both those shots -- are in the movie.
Tom Cruise is a consummate professional and probably far too tough for his own good. Indeed, you can see the shot where the injury happened in the new full trailer for the film, which aired during the Super Bowl. Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character jumps from building to building and you wouldn't know things didn't go as planned just by viewing it. But that just shows Tom Cruise's level of commitment and willingness to risk life and limb to get the shot.
I wouldn't want to do it again either, given what I'm imagining was a fair bit of pain the first time around. So he powered through the shot, keeping the performance and the shot at the forefront of his mind, and delivering a usable take. He didn't scream out in pain, reach down for his ankle or react in any way that would have ruined the shot. That's wild. Realistically, the creative team probably could have gotten a stuntman to perform the stunt had Cruise's take not been usable, but that wouldn't have been in keeping with the Mission: Impossible spirit and Tom Cruise's dedication to doing his own stunts.
In the interview on The Graham Norton Show, co-star Simon Pegg even notes that the crew said "that's so him" regarding Tom Cruise finishing the shot while injured. Clearly there was precedent for this level of toughness and commitment if the crew had such a blasé reaction to the actor completing the take. Tom Cruise also explains that the stunt was always supposed to have him jumping from one building and landing on the ledge of another and then pulling himself up. The only real thing that went wrong was his ankle breaking on the landing. So all he had to do was pull himself up and run past camera with a dangling ankle while staying in character to deliver the shot they were looking for. Easy peasy.
Now we know that Tom Cruise's broken ankle and absurd toughness will be preserved for posterity on film for all time. The shot of Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt jumping from one building to another is just one of many in the new, full Mission: Impossible -- Fallout trailer. The trailer is an adrenaline-pumping and kinetic ride teasing what will hopefully be the best Mission: Impossible yet. The sixth installment in the franchise, Mission: Impossible-Fallout, arrives in theaters on July 27th. For all the biggest films hitting theaters this year, check out our release schedule.