Hollywood is slowly and cautiously restarting production on big-budget film and television projects. Leading the charge is Tom Cruise, who has restarted production on the upcoming Christopher McQuarrie-helmed Mission: Impossible 7 in the UK. Photos from the set were recently shared, which showed Cruise partaking in yet another death-defying stunt involving a motorcycle and a very high vantage point.
The stunt in question had the actor on a speeding motorcycle as it hurtled off a ramp 500ft in the air. Fans of the Mission Impossible franchise will remember plenty of bike-themed stunts from previous movies, but none have taken place so high up the air. While safety wires ensured Tom Cruise was not launched into the stratosphere, fans were still amazed to see the 58-year-old actor partaking in such a sequence. Previously, McQuarrie had teased that the stunts in the upcoming movie will make the ones in the previous installments seem tame by comparison.
"We've figured out three obscene things that he's doing that I'm terrified of, that make the helicopter chase look like tinker toys."
The storylines in Mission Impossible films have always taken a back seat to the stunts showcased by Cruise. In fact, every movie in the franchise follows the same basic path, where government operative Ethan Hunt, played by Cruise, embarks on a dangerous mission to recover a dangerous MacGuffin, gets betrayed, and races to retrieve the MacGuffin before time runs out.
This well-worn formula continues to strike gold at the box-office because Cruise offers something different through the franchise, a return to old-school filmmaking where hair-raising stunts are filmed for real instead of putting the actors in front of a green screen. Over the years, audiences have watched Ethan Hunt climb steep mountains without any gear, hang from the side of a plane, scale the highest building in the world, and now, apparently, perform a bike stunt at 500 feet.
Still, as good as Cruise is, even the megastar cannot stop the march of time, and it is rumored that he is planning to hang up his action boots before his 60th birthday. That would give him time to complete the two final Mission Impossible movies, Top Gun: Maverick, and the untitled space movie that he intends to make with NASA and Elon Musk which will be filmed in the upper atmosphere.
For now, the residents of the town in Oxfordshire where Mission Impossible 7 is filming have grown accustomed to seeing Cruise performing one action-packed stunt after another, all in service of making the upcoming film bigger and better than previous installments in the franchise. The actor is said to enjoy going for 5k runs in London's parks and frequents Soho Farmhouse, an exclusive members' club in Oxfordshire, with co-star Simon Pegg, who plays Benji Dunn in the film. It remains to be seen whether the social distancing precautions being taken by the film's crew will allow production to be completed without any cases of infection among the cast and crew. This was first reported at Daily Mail.