Tom Cruise Plane Stunt: What The Director Feared Most

The Tom Cruise plane stunt for the upcoming movie Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation may have been the most death-defying stunt in Tom Cruise’s career. The movie stunt coordinator was able to take every precaution that he could control. Cruise was tethered to the plane, camera securely mounted, Cruise wore special contacts so his eyes would not be damaged, and if something went wrong, the door was rigged to allow Cruise to be pulled into the plane. It was the unknown that worried director Christopher McQuarrie.

“We were never thinking about, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to fall.’ We were thinking about the rock that was going to kill him on takeoff or the bird strike that was going to kill him or the unexpected acceleration that was going to kill him. Even the tiniest grain is going to get sucked through the propellers and fired back right at Tom. And in one case a piece of debris hit him in the chest and the only thing that was there to absorb it was the safety harness. It was so tiny, it was like a grain of salt, but he said it felt like a bullet was hitting him in the chest. Now if a larger rock hit him in the chest or smaller debris hit him in the face, then the show’s over.”

Cruise really put his life on the line during this plane stunt. On the ground, they film crew were legitimately worried that they would be witnessing the death of Tom Cruise. Many top movie stars would have easily elected to do the plane stunt with a green screen, stunt double, or special effects in post production. Tom Cruise is not one of those actors. He wants to make sure that his fans really believe that what they are seeing is real and life threatening. What better way to show them that then with a stunt that is very real and very life threatening.

Co-star Simon Pegg was very concerned that the plane stunt would go wrong.

“When you see the movie, you know he survived because he’s been doing press for it and there’s been no national mourning. But when you’re actually on the ground and watching him on the plane, there’s a whole other degree of terror because you don’t know how it will turn out.”

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation hits theaters this Friday. Tom Cruise’s plane stunt will set the tone of the rest of the movie, as Ethan Hunt does the impossible in order to complete the mission.

In case you are wondering, Tom Cruise does not have a stunt double.

Are you excited to see this insane plane stunt along with all the others performed solely by Tom Cruise?

[Image via Christian Black]