Tom Cruise Risks Death With Mission: Impossible – Fallout Helicopter Stunt

"None of this has ever been attempted before," writer/director Christopher McQuarrie says

By Zach Johnson Feb 07, 2018 3:05 PMTags

There's no such thing as cruise control in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

On Wednesday, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the movie star's death-defying helicopter stunt in the action flick, set for release on July 27, 2018. As writer/director Christopher McQuarrie says, "None of this has ever been attempted before."

Cruise not only learned how to fly the helicopter on his own, but he was also responsible for operating the camera—all while playing Ethan Hunt. "It's super important for a movie like Mission to be doing it all practically and for real," stunt coordinator Wade Easton says." Tom doesn't want to sit in a green screen. The audience can tell when something has been cheated."

According to producer Jake Myers, special camera rigs were created to show that Cruise is flying the helicopter on his own—while Henry Cavill's character tries to blast him out of the sky.

Thirteen helicopters were in the air at once, making the stunt even more dangerous. Praising Cruise's bravery and dedication to the movie, Easton says, "Most pilots wouldn't attempt this."

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As Cruise himself explained on Instagram, "I've always wanted to do a sequence like this."

Thankfully, the helicopter stunt went off without a hitch—but the same can't be said for another scene filmed in London last summer. During a shootout sequence on the roof of a building, Cruise didn't land his jump properly, breaking his ankle and delaying production. "I didn't want to do it again," the famous daredevil said on The Graham Norton Show in January. "I knew instantly it was broken, and I ran past the camera. We got the shot—it's in the movie."

Cruise is an adrenaline junkie of sorts. "Whatever I can do to really put the audience in the scene with the character and in the movie, that's what I want, so whatever it takes," he told E! News in 2015. "Whatever it takes! I prefer to do everything live in camera. I think that...Look, CGI, we're lucky to have it because it's a tool, just like practical stunts are a tool. And it takes everyone. It takes a village making these movies. They're incredible, top to bottom, these guys."