Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie on Abu Dhabi Halo jump

Mission Impossible: Fallout is in cinemas now

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 22, 2018 US actor and producer Tom Cruise arrives for a screening of "Mission Impossible - Fallout" at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.  / AFP / Alex Edelman
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Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible: Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie have spoken out on the dramatic stunt they filmed in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

The pair were full of praise for the UAE military, and for the Abu Dhabi government's film production arm twofour54 when they described filming a stunt that McQuarrie thought was "never going to happen.

Cruise performed the HALO jump (which stands for High Altitude, Low Opening) over the dunes back in March. The stunt required him to jump out of a plane at 7,600 metres over the desert, and wait until he was below 600m to pull his parachute open. It took more than 100 jumps to film the final take, as it had to be filmed as close to sunset as possible, giving the crew just three minutes a day to try and get the perfect shot.

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.

Cruise, who famously performs all his own stunts, has described the Abu Dhabi act of daring as “one of [my] most dangerous stunts yet.”

Mission Impossible: Fallout is in cinemas now.


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