Mission: Impossible 7: 8 Insane Things We Learned About Tom Cruise’s Latest Incredibly Dangerous Stunt

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

In the last decade, Tom Cruise has personally performed some of the most outrageous stunts we’ve ever seen on the big screen as part of the Mission: Impossible franchise, and that is a tradition that is set to continue in an insane way in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7. Following up cinematic shocks like climbing up the world’s tallest building and hanging on to a plane as it takes off, the new blockbuster is set to feature a sequence that will see Cruise drive a motorcycle off of a cliff and the base jump to the ground. It’s so spectacular that it needs to be seen to be believed – and this morning we got a special sneak peek of what’s in store at CinemaCon, the annual Las Vegas-based convention for theater owners.

Hosting a presentation in Caesars’ Palace’s Colosseum, Paramount Pictures treated attendees with an extended behind-the-scenes look at Mission: Impossible 7, with a specific focus on the aforementioned stunt. The video recapped the incredible effort that went into the creation of the blockbuster sequence, and while doing so revealed many different insane details about what it took to make it a reality. So when you actually get to see the new movie next year, keep all of this in the back of your mind, and you’ll only appreciate it more.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Tom Cruise Says It’s A Stunt He’s Wanted To Do Since He Was “A Little Kid”

Tom Cruise very clearly has a passion for doing these kinds of stunts in the Mission: Impossible franchise, but one of the wildest details revealed in the video is just how long that passion has been with him. According to the star, the idea of riding a bike off of a cliff only to fall and activate a parachute is something that he has wanted the opportunity to do since he was a “little kid.” All things considered, it’s definitely for the best that he waited until this point in his life to try and actually pull it off, rather than when he was, say, still in elementary school.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Tom Cruise Did 13,000 Motocross Jumps In Preparation

When you think about it, the Mission: Impossible 7 sequence really features two stunts in one go, and Tom Cruise had to practice both extensively. The first part is the process of launching the bike off the ramp and successfully disengaging himself from it as he falls, and that was something that the actor practiced a crazy number of times. Jumping over a quarry full of cardboard boxes to comfort the landing of the bike, Cruise did a total of 13,000 motocross jumps before he was totally confident that he could pull it off with cameras rolling.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Tom Cruise Also Did 500 Practice Skydives

The second stunt in the sequence is the “base jump” part, and while Tom Cruise wasn’t able to get 13,000 practice sessions of that in, he did still wind up jumping out of a helicopter 500 times while getting ready for Mission: Impossible 7. According to the featurette, he was doing about 30 of these a day during pre-production, which is nuts when you consider that the vast majority of people would be terrified to jump out of a helicopter even once.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

The Cameras Being Used For The Stunt Didn’t Exist Two Years Ago

Not only is the stunt outrageous and audacious as a feat of physicality, but the sequence in Mission: Impossible 7 also required the use of cutting edge technology. Director Christopher McQuarrie said in the video that the cameras that were used to shoot the set piece didn’t exist two years ago. In a sense, Cruise had to wait for the filmmaking world to catch up with his big ideas for heroic superspy Ethan Hunt, but now it has, and the results are unreal.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Tom Cruise Had To Judge His Speed On The Ramp By Feel Alone

In order to ensure that he would get a proper launch off of the ramp, Tom Cruise had to hit a certain speed while racing along and preparing for his jump – but there was an important hitch in that idea: the bike he was riding didn’t have a speedometer. Because of this, Cruise had to accelerate and manage his pace based purely on feel alone, which one could argue is the scariest detail behind the creation of the stunt.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

The Stunt Was Performed On The First Day Of Production On Mission: Impossible 7

After a great deal of preparation time, Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and the Mission: Impossible 7 crew didn’t waste any time making the sequence a reality when production started, as the stunt being discussed here was the first scene that was filmed when principal photography began on the blockbuster. Was this done in acknowledgement of the fact that the movie would have to shut down completely if Cruise either died or was seriously injured? That wasn’t something that was explicitly said in the video, but it was the impression that was delivered.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Tom Cruise Did The Stunt 6 Times On Camera

Given the ridiculous risk involved in making this stunt a reality, you might think that filming the sequence was a situation of “we only have one shot at this” – but thinking that is underestimating the daring of Tom Cruise. The star didn’t just perform the ramp launch and base jump a single time, but instead a grand total of six times, ensuring that Christopher McQuarrie got the best footage possible to bring back to the edit bay.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

There Are Even Bigger Plans In Store For Mission: Impossible 8

At the start of the video, the Mission: Impossible 7 stunt was referred to as “far and away the most dangerous thing we’ve attempted,” but don’t think that means the franchise is done raising the bar. One of the most intriguing lines of the video came from Christopher McQuarrie, who is in the midst of planning the sequel to the 2022 film, and said, “The only thing that scares me more is what we have planned for [Mission: Impossible] 8.”

Playing exclusively on the big screen, Mission: Impossible 7 is aiming to be one of the biggest cinematic events of the next year, and it will be launching into theaters everywhere on May 27, 2022. At this point, it feels like our anticipation for it can’t get any higher, but this is definitely a series that consistently manages to surprise.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.