We reported earlier this week that Tom Cruise was injured on the set of Mission: Impossible 6, while performing a stunt where he jumped from one building onto another building. It was later confirmed that the injury was much more serious than imagined, with the action superstar breaking one of his ankles, with reports surfacing that production has been halted for four months. It seems that may not be the case entirely. While Tom Cruise will be recovering for an undetermined amount of time, production will still continue, according to director Christopher McQuarrie, who shed light on the production and the injury in a new interview. Here's what he had to say about the injury and how it happened.
"The speculation was that Tom had somehow missed or fell short. The truth is that the stunt was never designed for Tom to jump from rooftop to rooftop which a) would have been pretty boring and b) when you see the actual shot you'll understand how it was designed. Also, when you look at what was posted on the internet, you can see Tom do the same stunt multiple times. He was always supposed to slam into the side of the building. That's what gives the stunt its energy. He was completely safe the entire time he was doing that. He was padded. What happened is a matter of coordinating what Tom is doing with what the camera is doing, which means you have to do it a number of times. And on the fourth try, he hit the building at a slightly different angle and he broke his ankle. He knew the instant that he hit the building that his ankle was broken. You can see it on his face. We had four cameras rolling on it, and you can see it on the video that's on the internet. He knew in that instant, 'well, we're not coming back here. We're not doing this again today'. So he got up and powered through the shot, and then he got off-camera and as soon as he knew he was off-camera he went down. He knew that was the only way to preserve the shot. I don't know that I would have the wherewithal to do that."
The director also revealed in his interview with Empire that there will not be an indefinite production delay, as earlier reported, with the director revealing that he was back at work today, shooting on the backlot at Leavesden Studios. The filmmaker added that there was roughly seven or eight weeks left of principal photography when the accident took place, but he doesn't think this injury will even affect the release date, which has been set for July 27, 2018. Here's what the director had to say below.
"You never stop working. I'm on the backlot at Leavesden right now, getting ready to shoot an insert out in the field. You simply rearrange the order in which you were going to do certain things on the movie. This in fact gives us an opportunity to go into editorial and look at what we've shot and reassess the movie, which is a luxury you don't normally have because you're on a train that just doesn't stop. We'll assess what there is to be shot. And what we can shoot, and then what we'll do is once we've shot through that we'll go on a hiatus and then I'll shift my attention over to editorial. We've already shot a huge chunk of the movie so you're just taking a big chunk of post-production and moving it up sooner. Then we go back to shooting when the hiatus is over, which is to the full benefit of the movie. It's similar to situations I've had on other movies where, for whatever reason, you go on hiatus and you're able to look at the movie in a way you normally couldn't and reevaluate. The lesson I learned on Valkyrie, which had its share of difficulties in production, and we always used to say 'disaster is an opportunity to excel.' The hiatus itself is unknown. We're still figuring that out. Nothing that we're looking at right now is going to affect the release date."
At 55 years old, Tom Cruise has certainly not showed any signs of slowing down, when it comes to his death-defying stunts. In fact, before production even began, producer David Ellison teased that this movie will feature Tom Cruise's biggest stunt ever, although no details for that stunt were given. Of course, it certainly wasn't this rather basic stunt which he broke his ankle on, which some could see as a sign for the actor to actually start slowing down, but that won't likely happen, with the director revealing that Tom Cruise is in the best shape he's seen him in during any of the movies they've worked on over the past decade. Here's what the director had to say about his interactions with his star during these Ethan Hunt stunt scenes.
"It goes to show you that there is no such thing as a small stunt. After Tom does a stunt for the first time, I watch it and evaluate it and go to him and say, 'Tell me what it is you're going through.' It's very easy as a director to get carried away and say, 'Do it again, do it again, do it again.' When you look at this particular stunt, the impact his body is taking is incredibly hard. The first time he did it I thought, 'Oh my God, are you ok?' He said, 'No, I can do it. I'm alright.' It wasn't as punishing on the body as it looked. And on the fourth time he nailed the stunt and the camera caught it perfectly, it all intersected and unfortunately that was also the take where he broke his ankle. But the first thing he said when he came back was, 'did you get it?' He was laying down with his foot up and I brought him the shot and he looked at it. As only Tom Cruise can do, with an icepack around his ankle, he said, 'That's a pretty cool shot!' I now have to move heaven and earth to make sure that the shot is in the movie. We went to all that effort to get it. It's a pretty fantastic shot."
The director also added that, thankfully, the most intense action scenes are behind them, although there is one particularly intense sequence that, thankfully, "doesn't happen to be intense on his ankle," so the director isn't too worried about that action set piece. The director added that the actor will in fact make a full recovery, and the injury could have been a lot worse than it was, although they certainly won't try to rush the action star back to the set of Mission: Impossible 6. Hopefully we'll find out more details soon as production continues.