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Director Christopher McQuarrie on Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ Stunt Injury

Mission: Imposible 5, Paramount Pictures

The other day, while filming scenes for Mission: Impossible 6, Tom Cruise broke his ankle. The injury shut production down while Cruise heals. Cruise is known for doing his own stunts, and few films come close to the feats he attempts in Mission Impossible. Director Christopher McQuarrie recently spoke about the film’s delayed production and about the stunt that led to Cruise’s injury.

In a recent interview with Empire, McQuarrie says the stunt actually has Cruise falling off the building, but it the amount of takes are what led to the injury. The stunt didn’t happen wrong, rather the injury can be attributed to multiple takes. The stunt actually has Cruise falling off the building:

“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.

When we all watched it, none of us immediately realised what was happening on the monitor. Tom got up and hobbled off-camera and we looked at it and went, wow, he really sold that one. It looks like that hurt. It turns out him breaking an ankle is almost indistinguishable from him pretending to break an ankle.

My immediate concern was, how is Tom? What is the extent of his injury? Today, we got the full prognosis and found out that it was actually fine, could have been much worse. And everything was ok. I’m not at all concerned about what this is going to do to our release date. The good news is, Tom is going to make a full recovery.”

Mission: Impossible 5, Paramount Pictures
Image: Paramount Pictures

McQuarrie goes on to say that despite the setback in production, the release date for Mission: Impossible 6 shouldn’t be affected. There is still plenty of stuff to get done with the film:

“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… we always used to say ‘disaster is an opportunity to excel’.”

Mission: Impossible 5, Paramount Pictures
Image: Paramount Pictures

McQuarrie says that he will do everything he can to ensure that the shot of Cruise getting hurt makes it into Mission: Impossible 6, after all of the effort that he put into finishing the scene.

Mission: Impossible 6 hits theaters on July 27, 2018.

Brad Repka
I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!