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Movies & TV

10th Jun 2017

The director and cast of The Mummy talk about filming one of the most insane stunts EVER in cinema

"It was called the vomit comet for a reason..."

Rory Cashin

The Mummy is in cinemas right now, and one of the primary reasons you should definitely be checking it out is for one particular stunt that will probably end up going down in movie history.

Let us set the scene for you:

Tom Cruise and his buddies have just discovered an ancient Egyptian sarcopoghas, and have decided to fly it back to London. On the way, thousands of crows fly head first into the massive military plane, causing the engines to blow out and the aircraft to go into freefall.

In order to get the proper visual effect, Tom and co. go on board what is affectionately called The Vomit Comet, which seen them being flown to 40,000 feet, and then suddenly dropped to 20,000 ft, and during that drop they achieve Zero-G. It is usually what astronauts use to prepare for the lack of gravity is space, but here the movie makers put their cast and crew in the height of it (pun intended) for a hyper-realistic plane-crash sequence.

We got to talk to the director and the cast of The Mummy, and obviously the subject of this crazy stunt had to come up.

First up, we’ve got Alex Kurtzman, who is best known for writing the scripts for the Star Trek reboot, the first Transformers movie, and Mission: Impossible III. This was his first time directing a big budget movie, and when it came to the plane stunt, he was all for it:

“[I’ve] now worked with Tom for almost ten years, and it is obviously daunting to shoot something like that, and at the same time, part of what you know you’re going to get when you go to see a Tom Cruise movie is spectacular stunts that he actually is doing for real.”

“I was such a fan of [Mission: Impossible] Rogue Nation, I just loved it. And when I seen it I couldn’t believe that was him hanging off the side of a plane, and when he said ‘We’re gonna try another version of that, I wanna try this stunt out,’ I said ‘Absolutely! Let’s do it!'”

Next up, we chatted to Jake Johnson (from New Girl and Jurassic World) and Courtney B Vance (he played Johnnie Cochran in The People V OJ Simpson, plus over 100 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and for plot reasons that we won’t spoil here, they weren’t involved in the stunt, but they both chat about how happy they were not to be in it, having seen it on the big screen afterwards:

And finally, Annabelle Wallis, who was one of the few people in the movie who had to somehow ACT in this scene alongside Cruise. We imagine the tough part was just not vomiting on your co-stars and all of the camera and sound crew around you, but the easy part was “pretending to be scared”, because there can’t have been much need for pretending when you’re in a freefalling airplane, tens of thousands of feet in the air.

We really do recommend you get along to see the movie on as big a screen as you possibly can, because that plane-crash scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Clip via Universal Pictures

In case you missed it, here is our chats with the ladies of The Mummy and how they felt about kicking Tom Cruise’s butt up and down England, take after take. Turns out, they were fans of it.

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