The Insane Story Behind Mission: Impossible Fallout’s Arc De Triomphe Motorcycle Stunt

The Mission: Impossible films are defined by their spectacular action set pieces. Mention Ghost Protocol, and your first thought likely goes to the Burj Khalifa sequence (and yes, your palms will get sweaty). Bring up Rogue Nation, and you might remember Tom Cruise hanging on the outside of a massive airplane as it takes off. The latest film, Mission: Impossible -- Fallout, has multiple stunt sequences to choose from, so when CinemaBlend sat down across from director Chris McQuarrie, we chose to ask him about the motorcycle chase around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The story of how they pulled it off does NOT disappoint, so I'll let McQ take it from here:

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If you have even a passing interest in filmmaking, and the construction of a blockbuster action movie, then the Mission: Impossible franchise provides you with endless fare to overanalyze, and Christopher McQuarrie serves as a masterclass professor in pulling off the magic tricks. For real, study what he does -- and has done on both Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible -- Fallout -- and then try to hire Tom Cruise. Because as McQuarrie explains, that guy is up for anything.

Earlier in our conversation with McQuarrie, he commented that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is both lucky AND good, but luck favors the prepared... and Ethan's always prepared for whatever might come. Well, McQuarrie and his team are always prepared, so when the Arc de Triomphe was cleared from traffic for a short period of time, they jumped. They had two hours, total, to get the shot. That meant 30 minutes to get their stunt cars going in the right direction. And 15 minutes of Tom Cruise driving against traffic on a motorcycle, surrounded by cameras.

It's an astonishing scene. One that we gush about in the latest episode of ReelBlend, a podcast that we recorded IN PARIS, the night of the movie's World Premiere.

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Mission: Impossible -- Fallout opens in theaters on July 27, and it delivers on the wall-to-wall action that you have come to expect from the Mission franchise. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team have to take on a personal mission after Ethan makes a crucial decision, one that puts the world at risk. In the process, they interact with an old threat... and meet new ones in the process.

It's always a blast to sit across from the team behind the Mission: Impossible films and discuss how these movies are made. Simon Pegg recently shared with us how Fortnite helps his character, Benji, train. And the cast had a fun debate about whether Ethan Hunt is a good agent, or just lucky. We will have plenty more from the Paris world premiere as the movie's opening date draws closer.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.