While we all prepare to gorge on Quality Street and put our feet up for the Christmas holidays, spare a thought for one Tom Cruise. The seemingly ageless A-list daredevil has once again put himself on the line for next year's Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, the eighth movie in the blockbuster franchise.
Cruise has described the movie's centrepiece stunt, in which a motorbike freefall off a cliff transitions into a base jump, as the "most dangerous" undertaken in the Mission: Impossible series so far. No mean feat considering that he's clung to the outside of a moving plane, scaled Dubai's Burj Khalifa and learned to barrel roll in a helicopter.
Go behind the scenes of the incredible Norwegian setpiece in the following video. It outlines the attention to physical detail needed to attain the jaw-dropping stunt, from Cruise's relentless training with the stuntmen to the dummy test run undertaken with a ramp in the UK.
It also reinforces how everything, from the wind direction to Cruise's physical position, is minutely calibrated to result in just a few jaw-dropping seconds of big-screen entertainment. See that look on writer-director Christopher McQuarrie's face upon the completion of the stunt? That's pure relief. (Goodness knows what the insurance backers were feeling.)
Co-starring Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Cary Elwes, Rob Delaney, Angela Bassett, Pom Klementieff and Henry Czerny, Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is released on July 14, 2023. It will be followed by Part Two on June 28, 2024.