Tom Cruise filmed the most dangerous Mission: Impossible stunt on day one in case he died

Dead Reckoning Part One
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise has revealed that he filmed Mission: Impossible 7's most dangerous stunt on the first day of shooting – just in case it killed him. 

The stunt involved riding a motorbike off a cliff, then deploying a parachute while mid-air. Pretty terrifying stuff, but Cruise seems to have been focused only on the practicalities of what would happen if a multi-million dollar blockbuster suddenly lost its star midway through production (and his own state of mind approaching the stunt, which is very sensible if you ask us). 

"Well we know either we're going continue with the film or we're not. [Laughs] Let's know day one," Cruise told Entertainment Tonight. "Let's know day one, what is going to happen? Do we all continue, or is it a major rewrite?"

He added: "I was training, I was ready. You have to be razor sharp when you do something like that, so it was very important as we were prepping the film that that actually was the first thing. I don't want to drop that and go shoot other things and then have my mind somewhere else. Everyone was prepped. Let's just get it done."

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has already drawn strong first reactions following its premiere. Alongside Cruise, the film stars Hayley Atwell, Simon Pegg, Pom Klementieff, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby. Part Two is just around the corner, arriving in June 2024. 

"We don't see ourselves in competition with Bond or John Wick. We love those movies, and we admire those filmmakers, and we want to see those guys win. All we're really doing is competing with ourselves," director Christopher McQuarrie told us in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which features Netflix spy movie Heart of Stone on the cover. 

"And coming away from Top Gun, we looked at that movie, and said, 'We're going to bury those guys. We're going to crush Top Gun.' That's how we look at it. Our only rivals are ourselves. You'll see things in Part Two that benefit entirely from everything we learned from Maverick."

Mission: Impossible 7 arrives in theaters this July 12. In the meantime, check out our guide to all the upcoming major movie release dates for everything else 2023 has in store. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.