It’s no secret Tom Cruise does his own stunts. The 58-year-old boasts an impressive fitness routine and it shows — the guy can outrun most men 10 years his junior on foot and looks no older than 40. But did you know he’s also iffy around CGI? Tom Cruise has always been vocal about his views on what best constitutes an action sequence, and a green screen ain’t part of it. It’s why he’s yet to play a superhero on the silver screen; most comic book movies are fantasy epics, and Cruise isn’t keen on acting opposite a dude in a motion-capture suit. If a scene demands that he parachute off the edge of space, latch on to a two-engine airplane in the process of taking off, or climb the highest tower in the world with only a bungee cord to hold him in place, then so be it. And you know what, he has. There’s no action sequence Tom Cruise can’t do with his own two hands and two feet. And he’s no outspoken, aimless hypocrite either; his Mission Impossible movies have upheld his adamantine principles since day one.
Tom Cruise is currently filming Mission Impossible 7, the untitled latest instalment in the 25-year-old blockbuster franchise. The series is apparently ripe for another high-risk escapade, this time with Cruise hanging from a freight train moving 15 miles per hour. Three-time MI writer-director Christopher McQuarrie posted the harrowing first look on Instagram. Check it out:
The cast of Mission Impossible 7 is shooting a complex action sequence in Levisham, a small village in North Yorkshire, England. The train in question was leased from London-based freight operator GB Railfreight. The crew used local Welsh railroad North Yorkshire Moors Railway — a heritage station 185 years in the making that cuts through the North York Moors — to stage their elaborate escape scene. Despite the precarious nature of this particular action sequence, the production is officially cleared with the Office of Rail and Road, which manages the entire mainline rail network in Britain. This isn’t the first time Tom Cruise has teamed up with local authorities for temporary use of certain tourist sites in his action movies. In 2011, for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Cruise flew to Dubai to film himself scaling the Burj Khalifa in real-time.
Tom Cruise is without a doubt a first-rate stuntman, but even a living superhero is not without accidents or flaws. He was nearly guillotined by co-star Hiroyuki Sanada’s sword, not to mention flattened by his own horse, while shooting 2003 period piece The Last Samurai. He almost drowned making Top Gun when his parachute accidentally weighed him down like an anchor. A car running at high-speed almost killed Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise when the brakes wouldn’t work filming Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow. Cruise actually crashed his vehicle once while shooting a racetrack scene in NASCAR-inspired Days of Thunder. He made a bad turn and smashed into a wall. He also received a concussion while shooting Collateral with Jamie Foxx.
And he’s taken real punches and kicks to inject his movies with a realistic touch. More recently, Tom Cruise broke his ankle while sprinting across buildings and jumping off roof decks Winter Soldier-style, while making Mission Impossible: Fallout. A motorcycle has even exploded on the set of Mission Impossible 7. Yes, the very same action film Cruise is presently filming. Ever the consummate action star, Cruise has never been deterred by any of these mishaps, however gruesome or terrifying they might be, and continues to allow sequences involving particularly risqué stunts.
Mission Impossible 7 features a massive cast, comprised of Tom Cruise (as Ethan Hunt), Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, and Frederick Schmidt all reprising their roles from the previous films. Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, Esai Morales, Rob Delaney, Charles Parnell, Indira Varma, Mark Gatiss, and Cary Elwes are newcomers to the franchise. The movie is currently shooting amid strict COVID-19 restrictions. Mission Impossible 7 is the third Mission Impossible film written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, after Rogue Nation and Fallout. McQuarrie had previously worked with Cruise on Valkyrie, Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, Top Gun sequel Maverick, and The Mummy remake. Mission Impossible was originally created by Bruce Geller, the same mind behind the ’60s detective show Mannix, starring the late Mike Connors as the titular Joe Mannix.