Tom Cruise insisted that climbing the Burj Khalifa should be the real deal for the latest Mission Impossible movie – ignoring warnings that the stunt was too dangerous.
Just days away from the rolling out of the red carpet for the premiere of ‘Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ in Dubai, it’s been revealed that producers wanted to use digital trickery to show Cruise on the world’s tallest building – just one of several behind-the-scenes secrets that 7DAYS can now reveal.
But after designing a dummy Burj set that Cruise’s Ethan Hunt would climb under controlled conditions, the visual effects team were told by the actor himself that the terrifying stunt would be done live. Effects producer Tom C Pietzman revealed: “We were going to build this set, have Ethan climb it, and then digitally extend all the shots to show the rest of the building. Then we sat down with Tom and, of course, he wanted to climb the building. That put a new spin on things.”
The actor, who will be at the premiere in Dubai next week, then went into months of gruelling training at a practice set, even insisting that the glass was heated up to 100 degrees in a bid to mimic the real thing. Cruise, who had seen the Burj under construction, said: “I’m always looking at different structures thinking, ‘How can I climb that? How can I jump out of that?’.”
Rock climber Dave Schultz, who worked on ‘Cliffhanger’ and ‘Vertical Limit’, was flown out for back up. Film bosses have also revealed how they were so impressed with the Burj Khalifa that the plot was written to feature it.
Producer Brad Bird said: “It’s this gleaming, really quite beautiful building that sticks up like a needle touching space.” More info and video