Paramount Pictures brought out the big guns for its CinemaCon presentation, by which we mean Tom Cruise, who took the stage to introduce a sizzle reel of action-packed footage from “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.”
The audience at Caesar’s Palace was treated to a scene in which Cruise’s shirtless super-spy Ethan Hunt must escape a torturer known as The Bone Doctor with an assist from Rebecca Ferguson, whose ultimate allegiance remains unclear.
A whirlwind of hand-to-hand combat ensues in which bones are broken, faces are kicked and necks are snapped before Hunt and his female accomplice are finally freed (surprise, surprise).
Cruise then took the crowd behind the scenes of his death-defying plane stunt, as seen in the film’s first trailer.
“I’m an aerobatic pilot and thought, I’ve always wanted to do that,” said Cruise, who had to make an appointment with his eye doctor for a special pair of glasses to protect him from high-velocity winds.
Cruise said that those winds weren’t the only danger, as he also had to contend with low temperatures, birds and fumes from the jet fuel. In all, Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie (or “McQ,” as Cruise called him) filmed the scene eight times at 5000 feet.
Ever the professional, Cruise said he was always thinking of camera angles, keeping editing and performance in the back of his mind as he held on for dear life.
Paramount’s Rob Moore was also impressed with Cruise’s commitment to realism, noting that “most people’s first reaction is it must be green-screen or CGI, but he’s really up there doing those things.”
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opens July 31.
Paramount also showed off 12 minutes from “Terminator: Genisys” which finds Arnold Schwarzenegger returning alongside new franchise stars Emilia Clark, Jai Courtney and Jason Clarke. “Terminator” opens on July 1.
The studio also previewed its 2016 slate, which includes the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy “Daddy’s Home,” Michael Bay’s “13 Hours,” Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” starring Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling, Ben Stiller’s “Zoolander 2,” Justin Lin’s “Star Trek 3” and a sequel to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” that will feature beloved villains Bebop and Rocksteady.
CinemaCon photos: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages for Paramount Pictures