The movie industry will often employ the services of stuntpersons to drive a car or motorcycle into a thrilling scene. These professionals have years of experience with vehicles and can do incredible things with them that average drivers are not prepared for. The Mission Impossible series of movies have been known to use a few such stuntpersons from time to time. But, that does not mean things always go well, like in this recent motorcycle stunt.
Tom Cruise did not do this motorcycle stunt
For those that do not know, Tom Cruise is the lead in the Mission Impossible movie series. He often does a lot of his own stunts, including motorcycle-related ones. He has actually broken an ankle in the past while filming a stunt for another movie. However, for this particular sequence, he let a stuntperson run with the action. Mr. Cruise was instead shooting a parachute scene in a nearby field.
Six weeks of planning and rehearsals
Our friends at Autoevolution billed the stunt as, “the biggest, most expensive, and most spectacular stunt ever done in the UK.” Speaking to the complexity of this particular stunt, the production company spent six weeks, planning and rehearsing what needed to happen. The stuntperson was supposed to jump the motorcycle off a high platform, separate from it in mid-air, and land on “pillows filled with card”. The mid-air separation from the bike would cause it to land safely away from the stuntperson.
Motorcycle stunt went according to plan, until it didn’t
The Sun was told by an unnamed production source, “It was miscalculated.”
“The heat and the friction of the tires meant that when the bike crashed, the cardboard padding sparked and went up in flames. The smoke was so bad they had to close a nearby RAF airfield. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but it’s a total catastrophe, not to mention extremely expensive for all concerned.”
According to the tabloid, they were there photographing the stunt, which initially went according to plan. But, when the motorcycle finally planted, the fire started and then the motorcycle exploded.
The same, unnamed production source offered, “Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but it’s a total catastrophe, not to mention extremely expensive for all concerned. Tom is very frustrated. Nobody wants more delays.”
Something is not right with this motorcycle stunt
As experienced as the movie industry is with stunts, it seems inconceivable that somebody in the planning stage of this shot had not considered that a motorcycle freefalling from the sky would not be a fire hazard. Falling things often break. Motorcycles have many parts that can rupture in a fall, like gas lines, gas tanks, etc. Add a hot engine and source of additional fuel nearby, like “pillows and card,” and you have the makings of trouble.
Something is missing. There must be more information that has not come to light. As mentioned, the movie industry is experienced in dangerous stunts. Sure, mistakes happen. But, a set that was not prepared for a fire seems unlikely. More details will surely come out sooner or later. In the meantime, the important thing is no one was hurt, and movie sets can be rebuilt.
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