- Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One had a dangerous stunt that featured the cast risking their lives, but it didn’t make the final cut.
- Director Christopher McQuarrie explained that the originally planned resettable rig didn’t work, so the actors had to perform the stunt practically.
- Despite the effort and risk involved, the scene was ultimately removed from the film after test screenings received mixed reactions.
One scene in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One features the cast risking their lives, and it was left on the cutting room floor. With Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) desperately working to prevent an AI from becoming a super weapon, the latest iteration of Mission: Impossible includes all the stunts and stakes that the franchise is known for. Unfortunately, not every risky play could make it in the final cut.
While appearing on the Empire Spoiler Special Podcast, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie revealed the secrets of the unaired stunt. Check out his quote below:
“It was supposed to be something we did with a resettable rig where everything could be very predictable, and nothing we did worked, and ultimately the actors had to risk their lives and do it practically. [After test viewings,] the train was a little bit like the car chase in Jack Reacher, where we couldn’t understand why we kept getting this note about length. Finally, there was one shot in the Jack Reacher chase I pulled out, and it taught me everything about shooting action. With the train, I kept thinking, ‘Is this the shot?’ And we kept pulling and we kept getting the note, and eventually we identified what it was. The work that went into what was holding back the sequence was extraordinary – it was days, and it was a struggle, and it was very, very risky. We took it out, and the scene just sang.”
The final cut includes a train sequence that perfectly sets up the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One ending, but this particular stunt just couldn’t make it. After test screenings left audiences ambivalent, the scene that featured actors risking their lives for the stunt was left out completely.
The Life-Threatening Stunts In Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible is a franchise known for accomplishing the impossible. After all, it needs to live up to its name. Many of the stunts in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One — and in the Mission: Impossible franchise as a whole — are genuine performances by the actors, rather than using stunt doubles or computer-generated images. The motorcycle jump in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One alone is an incredibly dangerous trick, given that Cruise really performed that miraculous stunt himself.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One isn’t alone in risking lives. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation also saw Cruise braving the chance of genuinely drowning while filming the blockbuster’s breakthrough underwater scene. He has also hung out of a plane and broken his ankle while leaping across rooftops. So many of Hunt’s stunts are performed by Cruise that it can be difficult to separate the character from the actor at times.
That Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One featured a death-defying stunt is no great surprise, given how often the franchise has done it before. The true shock is that McQuarrie agreed to cut the train sequence at all, considering how difficult it was to film. With actors performing practically and risking their lives to get the perfect shot, it would be interesting to one day see a clip of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One‘s cut stunt.