Mission: Impossible 7 director Christopher McQuarrie has defended Tom Cruise over his infamous on-set outburst during the pandemic.
The forthcoming blockbuster, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I, was the first major Hollywood film to resume production during the pandemic in 2020.
In December of that year, Cruise went viral after an audio recording – obtained by The Sun – captured the film’s lead berating crew members for standing too close to one another in front of a computer screen in violation of the set’s Covid safety protocols.
In the recording, Cruise can be heard losing his temper, telling the crew: “If I see you do it again, you’re f***ing gone.”
The clip quickly went viral, with many fans divided over whether to criticise Cruise for his rant or to commend the actor for his commitment to safety on set.
Three years later and the much-anticipated sequel is only months away from hitting theatres in July.
Ahead of the film’s release, director McQuarrie reflected on the star’s controversial moment in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“That all took place during a very complicated and a very uncertain time,” McQuarrie said.
“Obviously, we’re grateful that people took it the way that it was intended. We were fighting to keep the industry alive, we were fighting to keep people employed, we were fighting for the studio, we were fighting for cinemas, and we still are.
“We’re still there doing that. I’m just glad people understood the intention behind it.”
In May 2021, Cruise addressed the rant himself, stating: “I said what I said.”
Cruise, 60, reportedly cited a surge in Covid-19 cases as the reason for his frustration.
He also explained that his rant was not directed at the entire team, but rather a few specific people.
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“There was a lot at stake at that point. But it wasn’t my entire crew. I had the crew leave the set and it was just select people,” he added.
Earlier this week, Cruise’s Mission Impossible co-star Simon Pegg opened up about their longtime friendship.
Pegg joined the franchise in its third film released in 2006, and has appeared in multiple instalments since then. He will star opposite Cruise in the forthcoming entry.
In an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Pegg explained why he avoids speaking with Cruise about the actor’s controversial faith in the Church of Scientology.
“I don’t ask him about stuff like that because I feel that would be me abusing my privileged access that I get to him, you know what I mean?” Pegg explained.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning is now scheduled for release on 14 July.