Christopher McQuarrie Talks Tom Cruise’s Injury During ‘M:I 6’ Stunt Sequence
This past Saturday it was reported that Tom Cruise was injured after he failed to leap from a rigging onto a building landing, during a stunt for Mission: Impossible 6.
In a leaked video, we saw Cruise slamming his body into a building, carrying on with the take and ending in the floor, on his knees, with a clear face of distress and pain.
For a few days all we had was speculation, the extent of Cruise’s injuries were unknown and the fate of the film was uncertain, but today director Christopher McQuarrie had an interview with Empire Magazine to clarify the situation.
The first thing he confirmed was that the distress Cruise showed in the video was quite real, as the actor break his right ankle during the stunt.
Then it was the question… how’s Tom doing?
“Tom is great. He’s in very good spirits. He’s feeling great about the movie. Very excited in general. When I went to see him, the first thing he said when I walked in the room was, ‘dude, my ankle’s broken’. Without missing a beat, I said, ‘there’s a silver lining to this cloud. We just don’t know what it is yet.’”
He said that, while Cruise heals from the injury, production team has time to evaluate what they have and see where to go next.
“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.”
Of course, there was the question of how much will this affect production?
“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. The lesson I learned on Valkyrie, which had its share of difficulties in production, and we always used to say ‘disaster is an opportunity to excel’.”
The hiatus duration is unknwon, but that doesn’t affect McQuarrie’s spirit over the result of the film.
“The hiatus itself is unknown. We’re still figuring that out. Nothing that we’re looking at right now is going to affect the release date.”
For the past few days we all believed Cruise got injured due to a failed stunt of leaping from one roof to another, but McQuarrie clarified that a) that was not the point of the stunt and b) it was actually a successful one.
“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.”
Then, what really happened?
“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.”
His immediate response was to check on Cruise, as soon as he knew about the injury, because turns out, Tom’s expressions are not that distinguishable.
“[…] 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. The good news is, Tom is going to make a full recovery.”
But what will happen with the stunts that are left for the movie, will they compromise Cruise’s health or will they be modified?
“We don’t want him to come back to work on day one and jump off that roof again. We have plenty of stuff he can do. There’s so much action in this movie compared to the last Mission Impossible, and a lot of that is behind us. What we have in front of us is less complex, except for one sequence that is really intense. Fortunately for us, the one that’s really intense doesn’t happen to be intense on his ankle. We’re not worried about that. That’s the last part of his body we’re worried about when it gets to that sequence.”
He’ll do anything in his power for that stunt to make it in the actual movie.
“I now have to move heaven and earth to make sure that the shot is in the movie. We went to all that effort to get it. It’s a pretty fantastic shot.”
What do you think about this news? What’s your favorite Mission: Impossible movie?
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Mission: Impossible 6 is set to premiere on July 27, 2018.
Source: Empire Magazine