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The Insane Way Tom Cruise Prepared For His Hardest Stunt Ever In Mission: Impossible 7

The new "Mission: Impossible" movie is finally set to premiere next year, and as has become traditional, that means the audiences at the theater owner convention CinemaCon have gotten a preview of exactly how Tom Cruise plans to defy death this time. 

Cruise and "Mission: Impossible" director Christopher McQuarrie sent a featurette to the convention to show off what they're calling the actor's most dangerous stunt yet, which feels like quite the boast. How do you compare things like climbing the outside of the Burj Khalifa from "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" to performing more than 100 HALO jumps to get the shot for "Mission: Impossible – Fallout"? Is there a scale stunt professionals use, something that ranges from, say, riding the coconut horses in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" on the low end to doing what Cruise's Ethan Hunt does in the "Mission Impossible" films? If so, Cruise is committed to pushing the limits of what he and the teams that prepare and film him can do.

The Hollywood Reporter says Cruise's appearances are traditionally CinemaCon favorites, especially when he's presenting footage of the latest bit of stunt insanity he's attempting on behalf of the franchise. The footage from "Mission: Impossible 7" brought the house down as the star and director explained exactly how they managed to film a stunt in which Hunt rides a motorcycle off the edge of a cliff.

How many motorbike jumps did Tom Cruise do to prepare for Mission: Impossible 7?

According to THR, the stunt was shot in Norway on the first day of principal photography for the film, but Cruise's preparations for it stretch back more than a year. In order to get himself ready, the man who has already learned to fly a helicopter, to hold his breath underwater for six minutes, and cling to the outside of an airplane as it takes off — all for the sake of this franchise — did more than 500 skydives and more than 13,000 motorbike jumps. (Where does he find the time?)

The CinemaCon presentation showed previews of the stunt and the camera setups used, including drone-mounted cameras to capture the jump and fall. There is no word yet on why Hunt needs to jump a motorbike off a cliff in the film, or indeed, on the plot of "Mission: Impossible 7" at all. We do know that another motorcycle stunt from the production didn't go as planned.

Paramount's presentation at CinemaCon actually featured a double dose of Cruise soaring through the skies. In addition to the "Mission: Impossible 7 stunt," the studio also showed off the first 13 minutes of Cruise's upcoming fighter pilot sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick." According to reports from the convention, the footage included just about everything you might expect from a "Top Gun" film: Maverick defying the orders of a superior officer in order to show off his flying skills, fighter jets doing cool things, and Maverick on his motorcycle, though presumably not flying through the air on it.

"Mission: Impossible 7" is currently set to hit theaters on May 27, 2022.