People Thought Tom Cruise Broke His Back Filming Mission: Impossible Fallout's Helicopter Scene

Tom Cruise hang from helicopter mission impossible fallout

It's Tom Cruise's mission in life to give heart attacks to as many people as he can while filming action movies. It may thrill and delight the audience to see what lengths he'll go to for our amusement, but for any person who works on the movies, they must wonder if today is the day Tom Cruise will die. The actor pushed himself further than ever for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, to the point where the stunt coordinator thought Cruise might have broken his back.

They were watching on the monitors and the whole team's like, 'Ah, he's just broken his back.'

The big story surrounding Mission: Impossible - Fallout was that Tom Cruise had broken his ankle during a stunt, forcing production to take a hiatus so Cruise could heal up. You actually see that exact moment where it breaks in the film (it was the only take), but Cruise wasn't content to take it easy when he was back on set. Fallout's big stunt was an intense helicopter chase wherein Cruise dangled thousands of feet in the air, took control of the copter and then flew it.

This helicopter was carrying a big net of ... stuff, I guess, which was attached by a single rope. At one point, Tom Cruise loses his grip (on purpose) and plummets downward, slamming into the net, but grabbing hold. He then climbs back up the rope and takes control of the helicopter.

It is an awesome sequence in an action movie filled to the brim with awesome, but anyone watching Cruise perform the stunt that day on set felt more terror than excitement. In a clip from the bonus features of the Fallout Blu-ray (via Esquire), second unit director and stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood said he was worried that Cruise had broken his back when he landed on the helicopter's cargo.

Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise's co-star, released an audible shout when Cruise fell the first time. Cruise himself admitted that he was a mortal man and got the wind knocked out of him.

You know it's going to be a big impact. It really knocks the wind out of me. Those takes, you don't do many of them. You do them until you get them, then it's like, please let's move on.

Tom Cruise did that stunt four or five times, according to the bonus feature. That's why Cruise gets paid the big bucks! Fallout is one of the best action movies released in the recent memory, and much of it has to do with Cruise's commitment to life or death stuntwork.

You'll be able to watch Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast of Mission: Impossible - Fallout perform outrageous stunts soon enough. The action movie will release on digital on November 20 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 4.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.