From personally dangling off a cliff in Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park, to strolling along the top of the world’s tallest building, Tom Cruise has repeatedly smirked in the face of danger while shooting the last six Mission: Impossible movies, but when he recently caught crew members on the U.K. set of the seventh installment possibly exposing the production to COVID-19 by flouting safety protocols, it was the superstar’s last straw.
In an audio recording published by British tabloid The Sun, Cruise can be heard shouting the Riot Act at crew members who he thought were huddled too closely around a computer screen.
“If I see you do it again you’re fucking gone,” Cruise warns the workers, before reminding them how much is at stake for mega-budget spy thriller—and how much he and the rest of the MI team have invested in its success.
“We are the gold standard,” Cruise says. “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. Because they believe in us and what we’re doing. I’m on the phone with every fucking studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherfuckers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”
Cruise has been a dogged proponent of making the theater-going experience a reality again, and he has every reason to take no chances with MI7. The production was forced to shutdown for a week almost as soon as it began filming in Italy when several crew members tested positive for the infection.
After informing one particular worker on the U.K. set that their actions could have dire consequences for a fellow crew member—“You’re going to cost him his job”—Cruise struck something of a conciliatory note for the others present.
“Am I clear?” he asked. “Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that I have? Because I will deal with your reason, and if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired. That’s it. That is it. I trust you guys to be here.”
While we don’t know the official Mission: Impossible 7 budget, Cruise and his fellow producers certainly stand to lose more than the average filmmaker can imagine. The cost of the franchise’s entries has been soaring for almost 25 years, starting with the original’s $80 million price tag in 1996 and hitting $178 million with 2018’s Mission: Impossible -Fallout.
Even some industry insiders who haven’t exactly been Cruise fans in the past can understand the actor’s displeasure.
Although Ricky Gervais has been known to take some bruising shots at the high-octane performer, the comedian had Cruise’s back Wednesday morning on Sirius XM’s show Jim Norton and Sam Roberts.
“I get it,” Gervais said. “Imagine the pressure on that man, imagine the pressure on him. Forget the pandemic, those films absolutely rest on his shoulders… I’ve done jobs where I’ve taken a bit of cash [for a project] that I didn’t quite like and I’ve wanted to give the money back the next day. So imagine the amount of money that he’s been paid. It must be terrifying!”
Others are less thrilled with Cruise’s reaction. As the Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern writes in an opinion piece published Wednesday, “First, it’s never acceptable behavior to curse out and threaten your subordinates. In a work environment, there are better ways to get your point across than going on a power trip and publicly embarrassing a couple of people far below you in the pecking order.”
Helmed by Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible 7 is slated for release on November 19, 2021.
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