Last week, Tom Cruise performed a stunt on the London set of Mission: Impossible 6, for which he had to jump from a rig to a rooftop. It appeared that Cruise failed to stick the landing, however, and he slammed hard into the side of his target building. Cruise propelled himself onto the rooftop, but collapsed after limping toward the production crew.
The extent of #TomCruise's injury, and the impact it would have on the film's production process, were a mystery. Now fans finally have an idea of what's going on with #EthanHunt's sixth big screen outing thanks to Paramount and the film's director, Christopher McQuarrie.
On August 16, Paramount released a statement, confirming that Cruise had broken his ankle and that M:I 6 would halt production. Fortunately, it's still on track to be released this year:
"During production on the latest 'Mission: Impossible' film, Tom Cruise broke his ankle while performing a stunt. Production will go on hiatus while Tom makes a full recovery, and the film remains on schedule to open July 27, 2018. Tom wants to thank you all for your concern and support and can’t wait to share the film with everyone next summer."
The details on the situation were kept fairly vague. Don't worry though, because #ChristopherMcQuarrie gave an interview to Empire to clear things up.
What Exactly Happened?
Most of us thought Cruise's injury was the result of him missing his mark and slamming into the building, but the director revealed that wasn't the case. The actor was actually meant to miss the rooftop, with McQuarrie telling Empire:
"The stunt was never designed for Tom to jump from rooftop to rooftop [...] He was always supposed to slam into the side of the building [...] 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.
Being the tough trooper that he is, Cruise climbed onto the rooftop and continued the scene, which means that his limping m actually be a part of the movie:
"He knew the instant that he hit the building that his ankle was broken. You can see it on his face [...] 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."
That's truly commendable, and it shows the commitment Cruise has to his work. His pain won't be in vain — because according to the director, the shot came out perfectly, so he'll be fighting to get it into the film's final cut.
How Will This Affect Production?
When asked about how long the production hiatus would take, McQuarrie said that he wasn't sure, but according to Variety, filming will be delayed from six weeks to three months, depending on how long it takes Cruise to heal from his injury. Going by McQuarrie's comments, though, it looks like things are going great with the actor:
"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."
THR revealed that the actor's accident occurred in day 88 of production, but there were still two months left of filming, with the intention to wrap in October. Now the producers are reportedly planning to finish by December. One source told Variety that producers hope to accelerate the filming process by focusing on post-production elements while Cruise is away in order to have everything ready to go when he returns.
McQuarrie confirmed that's the intention right now:
"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."
Mission: Impossible 6 will be much more stunt-heavy than its predecessors, so there was concern from the fans about how much Cruise's injury would impact the film's sequences. But according to the director, there's only one major action scene left to shoot, and the actor's right ankle (the one fractured) won't play a part in it.
Essentially, the movie is in great shape — but the incident could impact his costars and Paramount's other franchise follow-up, #TopGun2. For starters, the delay will most likely present a challenge for other cast members like #HenryCavill, #RebeccaFerguson and #SimonPegg. Some of them have other filming commitments scheduled right after Mission: Impossible 6's original wrap date, according to Variety.
As for Top Gun 2, Paramount is reportedly worried that the accident will have negative repercussions on the sequel, which is expected to fly into theaters on July 2019. While Cruise announced earlier this year that production wasn't supposed to kick off until 2018, the actor has been undergoing extensive training to return as Maverick.
This injury could potentially prevent the actor from continuing that training. Right now that's up in the air, though (no pun intended), so we'll have to wait to see how the situation develops. Hopefully the actor makes a full recovery and production gets back on track soon.