While most are ending the year with a holiday break, Tom Cruise is hard at work.
The action star released an Instagram video Sunday that showed him thanking fans for the success of this year’s “Top Gun: Maverick” — Cruise’s first movie to see a $100 million opening — before jumping out of an aircraft while filming the next entries in his “Mission: Impossible” franchise.
“Hey everyone,” says Cruise. “Here we are over stunning South Africa, where we’re filming ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ parts one and two. And I didn’t want the year to end without thanking you all for coming out to the theaters and thank you for supporting ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’”
The camera then pans to reveal Christopher McQuarrie — who wrote “Maverick,” directed the two most recent “Mission” films and is also helming the next two — tapping on Cruise’s shoulder while sitting comfortably in the aircraft.
“Listen, we’ve really got to roll,” McQuarrie says, gesturing to his watch. “We’ve got to get this shot.”
“We’ve got to get this shot,” Cruise concurs — and then jumps into the open air.
But the message doesn’t end there. Hurtling toward Earth alongside the camera, Cruise hilariously asks himself, “Where was I?” He quickly recalls and thanks audiences yet again for their support, calling it “the honor of a lifetime” to entertain his fans.
“I’m running out of altitude, so I’ve got to get back to work,” the actor says in conclusion. “We’ll see you at the movies!”
Cruise has performed his own stunts for virtually every installment of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise and reportedly flew a real P-51 fighter plane for “Maverick.”
On Monday, the star and Paramount both shared a promo for the next entry in the spy series, “Dead Reckoning Part One.” The nine-minute video, partially titled “The Biggest Stunt in Cinema History” on YouTube, shows Cruise and McQuarrie prepping a death-defying sequence in which the actor rides a motorcycle off a cliff and dives down headfirst before eventually releasing a parachute.
“This is far and away the most dangerous thing we’ve ever attempted,” Cruise says in the video.
Previously, a clip screened at CinemaCon in April showed the actor thanking movie theater owners for supporting “Maverick” while he sat atop a flying biplane. And in less extreme news, Cruise made headlines in September after a flock of sheep interrupted filming for “Mission: Impossible.”
“Dead Reckoning Part One” is set to hit theaters July 14. A trailer for the film not only shows Cruise returning as agent Ethan Hunt, but a string of previous “Mission: Impossible” actors — such as Henry Czerny, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson — making appearances as well.