Tom Cruise Performed 13,000 Motorbike Jumps To Prep For A Mission: Impossible 7 Stunt

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but there appears to be no other movie star working right now as dedicated to achieving memorable, death-defying stunts as he is. The man has climbed the world's tallest building, held his breath for a ridiculously long time, clung to the exterior of a plane as it took off, and is planning to literally travel to space to film an upcoming movie, all for your viewing pleasure. Before he does that, though, Cruise is returning to his most famous franchise. He's currently filming "Mission: Impossible 7," and his latest stunt is going to blow your mind: his Ethan Hunt character is going to eat a huge Thanksgiving meal and somehow manage to avoid falling asleep on the couch afterward!

 *receives note* 

Oh, I'm now being told that he has evidently updated his plans, and what he will actually do is speed a motorbike off a Norwegian cliff, bail off the bike mid-air, and finish the stunt with a base jump and deploying a parachute. Yeah, that sounds much more in line with what we expect from a "Mission: Impossible" movie.

Cruise recorded a video of himself introducing some footage from "Mission: Impossible 7" that debuted today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, an annual convention for movie theater exhibitors. /Film was not in the room for the presentation, but Deadline reports that Cruise has been wanting to pull off this stunt since he "was a little kid." He called it "far and away the most dangerous thing I've attempted" and explains that he and the filmmaking team, including writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, have "been working on this for years." According to The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch, "Cruise trained for a year doing 500 skydives and 13,000 motorbike jumps" to prepare for the stunt, which was captured on day one of principal photography, and Couch says it feels "genuinely scary watching him do this."

Taking Influence From Another Spy Franchise

From the sound of it, Cruise and McQuarrie are using this stunt to pay homage to Lewis Gilbert's 1977 James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me," which depicts Roger Moore's Bond skiing off a cliff, ditching his skis, and pulling the ripcord to reveal a parachute emblazoned with the Union Jack. In reality, that stunt was performed by Rick Sylvester, a BASE jumper who skied off Canada's Mount Asgard to achieve the breathtaking opening flourish in the movie. But Cruise isn't content with simply copying a stunt — he needs to try to one-up it. So he's swapping the skis for a motorbike and essentially combining this stunt from the opening of a later Bond movie, "Goldeneye," with "The Spy Who Loved Me" Union Jack jump to form his own unique stunt.

According to McQuarrie, "the only thing that scares me more is what we've got planned for Mission 8."

"Mission: Impossible 7" is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27, 2022.