Tom Cruise has already firmly established himself as cinema’s greatest practical effect, thanks to the many death-defying stunts he’s performed — at great personal danger — throughout the course of the Mission: Impossible franchise. That predilection for peril reached an apex with the last two movies: In 2011’s Ghost Protocol, he dangled from Dubai’s mega-tall skyscraper Burj Khalifa, and in 2015’s Rogue Nation, he hung off the side of a transport plane as it took off. What is he going to do for next year’s Mission: Impossible 6? Nobody’s saying, but the centerpiece feat is going to be so crazy, the actor has been training for an entire year to pull it off.
While being interviewed by Collider at the SXSW premiere of Life, M:I producer and Skydance Media CEO David Ellison gave an update on the next installment in Cruise’s long-running spy series that has him playing superagent Ethan Hunt.
“I will say after the Burj, we thought it was going to be impossible to top that stunt, and then Tom did the A400 for the plane. What Tom is doing in this movie, I believe, will top anything that’s come before. It is absolutely unbelievable — he’s been training for a year. It is going to be, I believe, the most impressive and unbelievable thing that Tom Cruise has done in a movie, and he has been working on it since right after Rogue Nation came out.”
In response to that announcement, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie — who’s back behind the camera after helming Rogue Nation — clarified that the word stunt really doesn’t do the sequence justice.
To be clear: it's a SEQUENCE Cruise has spent a year training for. Not a stunt.
The stunts are a hobby.
— ChristopherMcQuarrie (@chrismcquarrie) March 20, 2017
Previously, McQuarrie had told Empire that he was hard at work on the movie’s action ahead of the April 10 start of production. “I came to Tom with a picture of something, and Tom looked at it and said, ‘That’s awesome! I want to fall off of that!’” he said. “It’s like, OK, I can see it on a poster, and I can see Tom falling off of it.”
Whether it’s a single stunt or an extended sequence, Cruise’s latest big-screen exploit will no doubt be the talk of next summer. And as Ellison made clear, that’s Cruise’s goal: “[Tom] said the audience can tell when it’s you on a green screen, or when you’re actually doing it live. And the tension, because the stunt is real, actually puts the audience where Ethan Hunt is where they are in the movie. He said that’s why he does it; it’s all about entertaining an audience, and it makes the movie better.”
To read more about what Ellison had to say, head over to Collider. The as-yet-untitledMission: Impossible 6 — which will now also feature Superman himself, Henry Cavill — arrives in theaters on July 27, 2018.