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I Just Watched Tom Cruise Jump Off A Cliff With A Motorcycle Six Times For Mission: Impossible 7, And It Was Totally Unbelievable

Tom Cruise on a motorcycle in Mission: Impossible Fallout

With each new Mission: Impossible movie there is a raised expectation for bigger and better stunts, and that’s because with each sequel Tom Cruise has managed to successfully raise the bar with his performances. The franchise has become a kind of testing ground for the star to push the limits of practical action on the big screen, and the things we’ve seen him do over the years is just mind-bending. That’s a tradition that unsurprisingly will continue in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7 – but audiences may not be totally prepared for what they are going to witness, as what Cruise, director Christopher McQuarrie, and the crew of the film have in store is simply next level and unbelievable.

Paramount Pictures held their big studio presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this morning, and the event kicked off with a special behind the scenes look at the next chapter in the Mission: Impossible series that provided an early glimpse at what is said to be the biggest stunt in the film. It’s something that you should really start emotionally preparing for now, because the blockbuster shot a sequence that features Tom Cruise riding a motorcycle off of a cliff, leaping off the bike, and then turning the fall into a base jump. And what makes it even more amazing is that he not only had to do a crazy amount of preparation for the sequence, but also performed the actual thing on set six times.

The presentation featured an extended behind-the-scenes featurette detailing all of the work that went into the creation of the stunt, and watching it all unfold was just unreal. In order to ensure that everything would work absolutely perfectly when production started, Tom Cruise practiced the different elements of the jump several times, including doing 13,000 motocross jumps off of a ramp, and 500 skydives (breaking it down, it was noted that he was doing 30 tumbles out of a helicopter per day during pre-production). The crew did digital tracking for each of the practice runs, reading a GPS put on Cruise's back and calculating for wind and different variables that could impact the insane feat, and they used the data to figure out the best way to shoot the sequence with drone-mounted cameras.

As noted in the featurette, all kinds of things could have gone horribly wrong. The bike didn't have a speedometer, so Tom Cruise had to rely on feel alone to ensure he was getting to the right speed in order to hit the correct jump trajectory. It was an elevated ramp, so a mistake resulting in falling to either side would have resulted in serious injury. And a change in the wind while he was parachuting down could have seen the Mission: Impossible star crash into the rocky side of the cliff regardless of how well things went on the motorbike. The production schedule had the stunt being filmed on the very first day of principal photography (presumably because the crew knew that if anything went wrong the movie wouldn't move forward), but fortunately everything worked out, and audiences will be able to experience the insanity on the big screen next year.

Having wrapped production this past week, Mission: Impossible 7 is being prepared as one of the biggest blockbuster events of next year, and is set to be released on May 27, 2022. It will be followed by Mission: Impossible 8, presently dated for July 7, 2023, and it's pretty insane to imagine the production coming up with something that is even more insane than what Tom Cruise is doing in the next chapter. Hopefully it won't be too long before a first look at the movie arrives online, and we're keeping our fingers crossed it will give us at least a brief glimpse at the finished version of the motorcycle base jump.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.