Tom Cruise pilots his own helicopter and waves to fans as shooting continues in South Africa

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Tom Cruise pilots his own helicopter and waves to adoring fans as shooting in South Africa continues for Mission: Impossible 8 – after blowing $290M on filming


Tom Cruise piloted his own helicopter and then waved to adoring fans in South Africa on Sunday. 

The action man, 59, gave a friendly smile as he arrived to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo.

The Hollywood heavyweight cut a causal figure in a blue polo shirt, denim trousers and walking boots and wore a pair of aviator glasses as the sun set. 

All smiles: Tom Cruise, 59, piloted his own helicopter and then waved to adoring fans in South Africa on Sunday

All smiles: Tom Cruise, 59, piloted his own helicopter and then waved to adoring fans in South Africa on Sunday

According to reports, he has been staying in the small northern town of Hoedspruit, near the border with Mozambique. 

The actor, who plays Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots. 

It comes after he told fans: ‘It’s so awesome to see you. I can’t wait for you to see the next movie. Thank you for coming out today.’ 

Movie star: The action man, 59, gave a friendly smile as he arrived to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo

Movie star: The action man, 59, gave a friendly smile as he arrived to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo

One of them asked Tom if he would ever move to South Africa to which he said: ‘I’d love to, it would be nice to live here. We’re very excited. We’ve wanted to film here for a very long time.’

Discussing what he saw on his helicopter trip, he said: ‘We just saw some cheetahs or lions, they were right in front of someone’s driveway.’

Before making his leave, the star added: ‘Thank you all for your hospitality. It means a lot to me.’ 

Casual: The Hollywood heavyweight cut a causal figure in a blue polo shirt, denim trousers and walking boots and wore a pair of aviator glasses as the sun set

Casual: The Hollywood heavyweight cut a causal figure in a blue polo shirt, denim trousers and walking boots and wore a pair of aviator glasses as the sun set

Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an unprecedented $290million outlay.

One notable factor in the film’s enormous budget has been the global pandemic, which swept across mainland Europe shortly after principal photography got underway in Venice in February 2020.

Lockdown and a desperate attempt to work around COVID-19 resulted in the production enduring an inauspicious start – with cast and crew forced to stop work after Northern Italy closed its doors.

Sources claim constant infections, coupled with national health restrictions and the pandemic’s refusal to die down resulted in more costs, because crew members needed to be paid, given expenses and offered hotel accommodation during extended quarantine and lockdown periods.

Chopper: The actor has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots

Chopper: The actor has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots

Meanwhile the film’s release date has been subject to change, with its original September 2021 launch pushed back to July 2022, with Paramount citing ‘delays due to the ongoing pandemic.’

The wait adds interest to an already overblown budget while having a domino effect on work-in-progress Mission: Impossible 8, which is now expected to launch on July 24 2024 instead of its intended release date, July 7 2023.

The relentless pressure to finish the film may well have been the catalyst for Tom’s high-profile outburst on set in December 2020 after a crew-member breached COVID protocol – putting the production in further jeopardy.

‘We are the gold standard!’ Tom was heard yelling in a recording of the incident. ‘They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! 

‘I’m on the phone with every f***ing 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… we are not shutting this motherf***ing movie down. Is that understood?’ 

Sources claim there were further issues in 2021, when Paramount were confronted with a bill for $50million in overages, caused by co-producer Skydance declining to exceed their pre-agreed contractual requirement regarding financial contributions.

Daredevil: Tom is known for doing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible movies (pictured in Mission Impossible 2)

Daredevil: Tom is known for doing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible movies (pictured in Mission Impossible 2) 

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