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Mission: Impossible 7 Gave Director Christopher McQuarrie His Biggest Challenge Yet

After a five-year hiatus, the "Mission: Impossible" franchise is making its long-awaited return this summer.

The popular blockbuster film series' seventh installment, "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One," is set to hit theaters in July, and it seems safe to say that anticipation for it is building. Not only is the film building on the successes of the previous "Mission: Impossible" movies, but it's also debuting a little over a year after "Top Gun: Maverick" helped cement Tom Cruise's place at the top of the Hollywood food chain again. "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" also, notably, promises to be exactly the kind of practical effects-heavy, stunt-driven extravaganza that fans have been waiting for.

The most recent trailer for "Dead Reckoning Part One" offers moviegoers glimpses at some of the film's blockbuster-sized stunt sequences, including a motorcycle jump off a cliff, a Venice-set sword fight, and a set piece involving a massive train wreck. According to the film's director, Christopher McQuarrie, the latter sequence proved to be particularly difficult. As a matter of fact, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the returning "Mission: Impossible" filmmaker revealed that pulling the set piece off ended up being the most difficult undertaking of his career to date.

"I think the energy that went into developing it, designing that, building it, and then making a sequence that justified its existence was probably the biggest challenge of my entire life," McQuarrie said.

Mission: Impossible 7 was always going to wreck a train

In the same interview with Entertainment Weekly, Christopher McQuarrie revealed that the train sequence in "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" was always a part of his and Tom Cruise's plan for the film. Specifically, the filmmaker revealed that he and Cruise sat down before they began making "Dead Reckoning Part One" and had a conversation about the stunts that they'd each always wanted to do in a movie.

Cruise, for his part, apparently said right away that he'd always wanted to ride a motorcycle off of a cliff — a stunt that has since been spotlighted several times in the early marketing materials for "Dead Reckoning Part One." McQuarrie, meanwhile, said that he'd always wanted to destroy a train on-screen. "We're enormous fans of Buster Keaton, John Frankenheimer, David Lean, all of these filmmakers who at one time or another had a fabulous train wreck," McQuarrie explained. "I thought, 'I've earned that, I want to wreck one too.'"

McQuarrie faced a number of challenges while putting the sequence in question together. Not only did he, Cruise, and the rest of the "Dead Reckoning Part One" crew have to find a place where they could actually, practically destroy a train, but they also had to ensure that they could do it safely. In the end, McQuarrie and co. shot a majority of the sequence in the United Kingdom, where they managed to send a 70-ton train crashing into an English quarry. 

Now, fans can look forward to seeing exactly how McQuarrie chose to bring the set piece to life on-screen when "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" hits theaters this July.