Tom Cruise has praised the UAE for its help in creating “one of his most dangerous stunts yet”.
Cruise made the halo jump – a military free-fall manoeuvre designed to get troops on the ground undetected – for a scene in his upcoming movie, Mission Impossible: Fallout, which was filmed in Abu Dhabi, among other locations.
Cruise had to jump out of a plane at 7,600 metres over the Abu Dhabi desert and wait until he was below 600m to pull his parachute for the stunt.
Click below to watch the stunt:
It took more than 100 jumps to film the scene, as it had to be filmed as close to sunset as possible, giving the crew just three minutes a day to get the perfect shot.
“We needed the UAE,” said Cruise in a video posted on Twitter to promote the movie’s upcoming release. “Had they not stepped in, we would not have been able to accomplish the sequence.”
The stunt was a year in the planning, and filmmakers had to commission one of the world’s largest wind tunnels so Cruise could practice on the ground first.
Each time he made the jump, Cruise had to spend 20 minutes breathing pure oxygen to ensure he did not get decompression sickness on the descent. And he had to position himself so he landed exactly a metre away from the camera as he jumped out.
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“The audience can tell when something is being cheated. So it’s important to do it all for real,” said Wade Eastwood, second unit director/stunt coordinator in the video.
Halo jumps provide twice the amount of freefall time compared to a standard parachute jump but they are inherently risky. They can result in death, hypoxia, or insanity, according to experts.
“You start losing your mind, but you don’t realise it,” said Ray Armstrong, the stunt’s chief instructor for the movie.
Mission Impossible: Fallout will be released across the UAE on July 27.
“I can’t wait for the audience to see this,” said Cruise of the stunt.