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Mission: Impossible 7 Production Halted After Catastrophic Stunt Gone Wrong

Action movies couldn't exist without stunt performers. In fact, so many films and shows you see involve some kind of stunt work that without them, you'd be watching an empty screen for much of the runtime of your average blockbuster.

Thanks to social media (and, before that, DVD special features) movie-goers are gaining an increased appreciation for the talent and hard work that goes into setting up and performing a stunt. People are more aware than ever that the most important part of stunt work is safety. Even on sets where everything is prepped perfectly, things can do sideways fast.

Tom Cruise, who is credited with doing many of his own stunts, knows very well the risks that go into stunt work. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon for The Tonight Show back in July of 2018, Cruise talked about breaking his ankle on one of the "easy stunts" from Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Unfortunately, the Mission: Impossible franchise is back in the news as its latest entry suffers a shut-down over a stunt gone wrong.

The Mission: Impossible stunt and how it went wrong

Per a report on August 12, 2020 in The Sun, a stunt involving a motorcycle went south very quickly in the United Kingdom for Tom Cruise's seventh Mission: Impossible film. The full action sequence in its entirety allegedly took six weeks of preparation. According to a source, the stunt had already "been a massive challenge to stage and has cost a fortune, not to mention weeks and weeks of construction. But when it came to the big day, it went horribly wrong."

So, what happened with the stunt? The stunt performer on the motorcycle was meant to land on large pillows filled with cardboard in order to soften their landing. Allegedly, there was a miscalculation.

Says the source, "The heat and the friction of the tires meant that when the bike crashed, the cardboard padding sparked and went up in flames." Smoke from the fire was supposedly so intense that a nearby Royal Air Force airfield had to be closed down until the smoke cleared.

The status of the Mission: Impossible stunt person and further delays

Of course, the first question is whether anyone was injured. Thankfully, the report confirms that there were no injuries from the stunt-gone-wrong. However, the larger issue is that of a now-necessary delay. According to insiders, the set for the latest Mission: Impossible is "temporarily closed" while production figures out what exactly went wrong and likely considers how the cost of reworking such an elaborate and expensive scene will impact the remainder of filming.

Tom Cruise is allegedly frustrated, as this is not the film's first costly delay. Production on the seventh Mission: Impossible was already underway in Venice when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy. The Italian government shut down the set and the entire team had to pack up and relocate to an abandoned air base in Oxfordshire. The goal of that location was to craft a kind of production bubble to help reduce delays as much as possible — something that seems, more or less, to have kept the project afloat despite global industry shutdowns — up until this unfortunate accident.

The untitled seventh Mission: Impossible film is currently set for a November 2021 release, but that may change as a result of this latest mishap.