Christopher McQuarrie, the director of the sixth “Mission: Impossible,” has spoken with Empire today about the film’s production delay and the stunt that led to its star Tom Cruise getting injured.
McQuarrie says Cruise falling short of the building’s roof edge was always what was supposed to happen in the scene and explains in detail how the accident happened and how Cruise powered through finishing the take despite his injury:
“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.”
McQuarrie says despite Cruise being out of action for a bit, he’s not worried about production and there are still plenty of things they can still get done:
“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’.”
McQuarrie also says he now plans to “move heaven and earth” to make sure that the shot Cruise injured himself on is in the movie after all that effort they put in to get it.
“Mission: Impossible 6” is still slated to arrive on July 27th 2018.