The actor, known for going above and beyond with his stunts, learned how to do what director Christopher McQuarrie called “one of the most dangerous sports in the world” for the latest installment in the action franchise.
In a recent video giving a behind-the-scenes look at the movie, the filmmaker explained that since “there are no limits” with Cruise, “we become a little bit more adventurous every time.” And this time, the actor decided to do a “sport very few people on this planet do.”
McQuarrie went on to explain that “while it may look similar, speed-flying is not skydiving. Skydiving is fairly predictable. Speed-flying is incredibly unpredictable.”
The air sport, similar to paragliding, combines elements of parachute swooping to allow people to fly at high speeds down mountainsides while maintaining close to the slope.
In the footage, Cruise said of the stunt, “We’re gonna do spirals, and we’re landing at an incredibly high speed, over 80 kilometers an hour.”
McQuarrie added that although it “looks quite beautiful” when “flying very close to rocks,” the crew was in “absolute terror” behind the cameras. Especially since they had to overcome several technical challenges, including coming up with the stunt and finding the most dynastic way to shoot it.
The director called the whole experience a “one-of-a-kind adventure.”
Taking on death-defying stunts is nothing new to Cruise. Throughout his decades-long career, the actor has continued to look for ways to push the limits for projects, from scaling a skyscraper to dangling on the outside of a plane. In his upcoming film, he also drove a motorcycle off a cliff and parachuted to safety on the first day of filming.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is set to hit theaters on July 12.