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SYFY WIRE Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise’s latest stunt? A ‘Mission: Impossible’ thank-you skydive for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ fans

Cruise wishes fans a "safe and happy holiday" while hurtling toward Earth above the M:I movie set in South Africa.

By Benjamin Bullard
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

You’ve got to hand it to Tom Cruise: Even as he tests his own limits with one mind-boggling stunt after another, he isn’t shy about bringing fans along for an all-access ride ... even if it comes right in the middle of a movie shoot.

Viewers who helped propel Top Gun: Maverick to Cruise’s most successful box office ever likely recall the actor’s warm greeting that welcomed audiences at the movie’s beginning. Now, on the cusp of Maverick’s upcoming streaming debut, the 60 year-old actor is at it again with another “thank you” message — only this time, it comes straight from the airborne set of his next Mission: Impossible film. Call us crazy, but considering the high-flying circumstances, it’s hard to interpret Cruise's on-camera gratitude as anything if not sincere.

In a “special message from the set," the actor’s Twitter account posted a heart-racing video featuring Cruise alongside Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie, each just hanging out in a moving plane as the actor gets set to perform an on-camera skydive. Ever the multi-tasker, Cruise uses the occasion to send out a one-of-a-kind greeting to everyone who helped make Top Gun: Maverick such a summertime smash in theaters.

Check it out:

“Hey everyone!” shouts Cruise above the wind-whipping noise of the open-air cockpit, while perched at the door with a parachute strapped to his back. “Here we are over stunning South Africa, and we’re filming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning parts one and two! 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.”

That’s when the camera pans back to reveal McQuarrie sitting inside the plane, tapping Cruise on the shoulder to remind him that the clock’s ticking on capturing the stunt at hand: “Listen, we’ve really gotta roll — we’ve gotta get this shot!,” shouts the director, who also co-produced Maverick and co-wrote its screenplay alongside Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer.

Undeterred, Cruise agrees and leaps from the plane — but the camera stays with him as he continues his message, the rest of which comes during his free-fall descent toward Earth.

“Where was I — oh yeah! Thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick — and as always, thank you for allowing us to entertain you. It truly is the honor of a lifetime ... I’m running out of altitude, so I’m gonna get back to work; we’ve gotta get this shot! You have a very safe and happy holiday. We’ll see you at the movies!” And with that, Cruise spins away from the camera and toward the awaiting ocean below.

The mind-blowing message comes just as Paramount+ gets set for Top Gun: Maverick’s Dec. 22 streaming premiere, even as Cruise and McQuarrie stay on location where production on the upcoming two-part Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning is (obviously) well underway.

As if to up the ante on the logistically-challenging feats Cruise is bringing to the pair of new Mission Impossible movies, Paramount also hit YouTube with a truly bonkers behind-the-scenes clip showing off all the prep work that went into an incredible, motocross-propelled BASE jump stunt that Cruise and the film's crack team of technical pros recently performed in Norway. As the clip (shown above) makes clear, it’s legit next-level stuff: Paramount teases the elaborately-crafted moment of truth as "The Biggest Stunt in Cinema History."

Just as with its 2018 predecessor Mission: Impossible — Fallout, the new films are written and directed by McQuarrie and star Cruise as Ethan Hunt alongside a returning M:I cast that also includes Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson. The first Dead Reckoning installment is set to infiltrate theaters on July 14 of 2023, with the second chapter arriving the following summer on June 28, 2024.

Looking for more stunt-driven action films? Fast & Furious is currently streaming on Peacock and the latest film in that franchise, Universal Pictures' Fast X, is due out in May of 2023.