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The One Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Stunt That Almost Took Out Tom Cruise

It's been well-chronicled that actor Tom Cruise has a proclivity for doing his own stunt work. The actor throws himself into his parts full force – including piloting an F-18 fighter jet for "Maverick: Top Gun 2," as reported by IndieWire. Via Men's Journal, in the "Mission Impossible" series of films alone Cruise, went rock climbing up a formation in Dead Horse Point, Utah, for "Mission Impossible 2," and for "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol," with the aid of a harness he hung off the side of Burj Khalifa. Burj Khalifa is a Dubai skyscraper that, per Skyscraper Center, is the world's tallest building. These stunts are just two of the many death-defying acts Cruise has performed over his expansive career.

All of that stunt experience has definitely given Cruise a way with dangerous situations. But even the most well-prepared actor may find themselves facing unexpected hazards on the set. During the filming of the upcoming "Mission Impossible" installment, "Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One," Cruise was called upon to perform a stunt that brought him closer to the edge of danger than he'd been in years. Which stunt nearly took him out?

One dangerous Dead Reckoning stunt had Cruise worried

Per an interview with Empire Online, Cruise, while in character as Ethan Hunt, was required to drive a motorcycle off of a cliff for a stunt included in "Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One." Hunt and Cruise alike would be saved from a long hard fall by a parachute. The actor recalled to the magazine that he had rehearsed the stunt for months, but was concerned about the stunt coming off correctly.

"If the wind was too strong, it would blow me off the ramp," he explained. "The helicopter [filming the stunt] was a problem, because I didn't want to be hammering down that ramp at top speed and get hit by a stone. Or if I departed in a weird way, we didn't know what was going to happen with the bike. I had about six seconds once I departed the ramp to pull the chute and I don't want to get tangled in the bike. If I do, that's not going to end well."

The stunt was described by Empire as one of the most dangerous the actor has ever performed, and also one of the most dangerous ever undertaken in "Mission Impossible" film history. Thankfully for all parties involved, Cruise clearly survived to tell the incredibly dangerous tale, which fans can see briefly at the tail end of the "Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One" trailer.

The actor hasn't always come away from his MI stunts unscathed

Cruise hasn't always been lucky enough to walk away from his "Mission Impossible" stunt work uninjured. Though he hasn't met with any life-threatening ailments, he's definitely broken bones in the name of screen authenticity.

In the Daily Mail's recap of an April 2021 episode of "The Graham Norton Show," Cruise spoke about breaking his ankle while performing a stunt for "Mission Impossible: Fallout" in 2018. The actor's bone shattered after he slammed into the side of a building. Via Men's Journal, he also tore his labrum while filming the cliff climbing stunt for "Mission Impossible 2."

Despite those injuries, Cruise has not been deterred in performing his own stunts. Cruise went on to perform all of the stunt work in "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation." While it's clear that he's performed some of his own stunts for "Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One," there's no word as to how much he's contributed. Fans of the franchise will have to watch the film when it premieres in 2023 to find out.