As we all anxiously wait for the upcoming seventh Mission: Impossible film – tentatively titled Mission: Impossible – Holy Crap, Did We Really Just Spend $290 Million? – fans on social media have recently been appreciating one of the franchise’s most impressive stunts; the plane jump scene from Fallout, in which Tom Cruise, yet again, risked his life to thrill moviegoers – and presumably, to karmically make up for The Mummy.

Amazingly, shooting this sequence was an even crazier endeavor than you might think, requiring a staggering amount of work beyond simply tossing the star of Risky Business out the back of a military plane. For starters, Cruise’s HALO (High Altitude Low Open) jump required designing and constructing a specialized helmet for Cruise to wear that would act as both a “prop and a life-saving device.” And to prepare for the jump, instead of just buying a DVD copy of Point Break for Cruise to watch, the production “built one of the world’s largest wind tunnels” for rehearsals. When it came time to actually shoot the stunt, since the scene takes place at sunset, they could only do one take per day.

Adding to the difficulty, the camera operator had to do the same jump as Cruise … but backward and with a giant camera on top of his head. Then he had to pull focus while freefalling from 25,000 feet in the air – not to mention that Cruise had to hit a mark of exactly three feet from the camera, lest the shot look about as clear as amateur Bigfoot photography. And there’s footage of all this because a second camera guy shot at least one jump for the behind-the-scenes features.

Paramount Pictures

And, by the way, all of this was in the service of a scene in which Ethan Hunt simply has to sneak into a party – but there was no way Cruise was going to replace his big HALO jump with a bus ride and a fake ID.

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Top Image: Paramount Pictures

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