Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures began their promotion of Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One by revealing the film includes “the most dangerous thing they’ve ever attempted” in an motorcycle jump off a Norwegian cliff that turns into a base jump.
Director Christopher McQuarrie opens the promotion video that goes into just how much time and preparation they put into the stunt alone saying, “This is far and away the most dangerous thing we’ve ever attempted.”
Cruise then adds, “We’ve been working on this for years. We’re going to shoot it in Norway and it’ll be a motorcycle jump off a cliff into a base jump.”
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From there, Wade Eastwood, the productions Second Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator explained that Cruise went through “a year of base training, advanced sky dive training, a lot of canopy skills, a lot of tracking.”
Base Jumping coach Miles Daisher then adds, “Tom Cruise is an amazing individual. You tell him something and he just looks it in. His sense of spatial awareness — he’s the most aware person I’ve ever met.”
Eastwood then reveals more of the training, “Tracking with John and Miles in the air. Doing lots of different positioning. Like they were a two-man team in the air. Coming on top of each other, below each, back tracking, front tracking. You know we’ve drilled, and drilled, and drilled.
Not only did Cruise have to do a ton of training in the air, but they also built a motocross track in order for him to hone his riding skills so he hits all of his marks perfectly. The video claims Cruise did over 13,000 motocross jumps. McQuarrie also relayed Cruise was doing over 30 air jumps a day while Eastwood revealed he did over 500 sky dives.
On top of that, they also had to figure out how to capture all of these stunts on camera. Director Christopher McQuarrie explains, “Coming up with the stunt is only one of the technical challenges. The other is putting a camera in place that you can see where Tom is doing it.”
He adds, “Finding the right lens, the right platform, the right medium. Even two years ago the cameras didn’t exist that would allow us to do what we are trying try to do today.”
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Next, the video goes on to explain that they built a ramp in England to replicate the Norwegian jump and filled the landing area with cardboard boxes to catch the motorcycle.
Cruise explains the necessity of the ramp, “How fast should I go off, what distance, do I travel?”
McQuarrie explains they answered these questions by building “models of different ramps at different angles to calculate what Tom’s trajectory would be. We have to be able to consistently predict where Tom is going to be in three dimensional space.”
They went so far as to put a GPS chip on Cruise to record every single one of his jumps. This chip allowed them to record “his ground speed, whether there was a head wind, whether there was a cross wind.
The director added, “And by doing this multiple times we were able to get a consistent set of data.” Cruise noted this data helped them figure out where they needed to place their drones in order to record the stunt.
The video then transitions to the construction of the ramp in Norway and the first day of principal photography, which is the Norwegian motorcycle jump into the base jump.
Before attempting to the stunt, Cruise revealed he did multiple jumps from a helicopter “just to warm up the body, just to get my tracking going, and make sure everything is working alright.”
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As far as how dangerous the stunt is, Eastwood details, “The only things that you really have to avoid while doing a stunt like this is serious injury or death.”
He adds, “You’re riding a motorcycle, which is pretty dangerous, on top of a ramp that’s elevated off the ground so if you come off the ramp that’s going to be very bad.”
“You’re falling. If you don’t get a clean exit from the bike, and you get tangled up with it. If you don’t open your parachute, you’re not going to make it,” he relayed.
The video goes on to show Cruise perform the stunt and he didn’t do it just once, but did it six times.
After video provides multiple angles of Cruise’s six jump, it also features a montage of shots from the upcoming film that includes a submarine, a train driving off the tracks into a ravine, a fast-paced car chase, and Cruise sprinting down a hallway as has become tradition in his films.
Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, Esai Morales, Henry Czerny, Rob Delaney, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Mark Gatiss, Charles Parnell, Greg Tarzan Davis, and Frederick Schmidt.
The film arrives in theaters on July 14, 2023. Will you be watching?