Need to shoot your hero hanging off the side of an airplane for your next film? You’ll be shooting that one in front of a green screen. Unless, of course, your hero is Tom Cruise and your film happens to be Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation. In that case, you’ll just do it for real.
Check out this short documentary teaser for the fifth Mission: Impossible film, which has Tom Cruise playing series protagonist Ethan Hunt and achieving lift-off without the aid of a stunt double
That’s a Nettmann Systems Super-G aerial rig, provided to the production by London’s Helicopter Film Services, mounted to the side of an Airbus A400M traveling at 180mph.
And pay attention, 35mm film fans — that sure looks like a film camera capturing the action at 0:12. IMDb says a Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 was used on the shoot, as well as the ARRI Alexa XT, Alexa XT M, and Alexa 65.
However you feel about Tom Cruise as an actor, there’s no denying he’s one of the more adventurous producers around. Not only does he obviously enjoy stuntwork (see also the vertiginous Burj Khalifa sequence in the previous Mission: Impossible installment), but he also consistently hires directors with distinctive visions to keep his films from going on autopilot. The M:I franchise alone has employed Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and now, on Rogue Nation, Christopher McQuarrie.