Tom Cruise pilots his own helicopter as he touches down in South Africa for Mission: Impossible 8

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Tom Cruise lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to touch down in South Africa on Monday. 

The Hollywood heavyweight, 59, gave a friendly wave to cameras as he arrived to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. 

Work on the eighth instalment began last year, following a turbulent production for M:I 7, which has demanded an unprecedented $290million outlay. 

Impression: Tom Cruise lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to  touch down in South Africa on Monday

Impression: Tom Cruise lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to  touch down in South Africa on Monday

It is thought Tom and the Mission Impossible crew will stay in the northernmost province of South Africa for the next two months, with Blyde River Canyon providing a beautiful backdrop for the film’s setting.

Tom looked effortlessly cool in a navy polo neck and donned his signature pair of aviators. 

After touching down, the Top Gun star headed over to his shuttle vehicle to take him to his lodgings. 

Nerves of steel: Tom, who is famous for doing his own stunts, showed off his skill as he landed the helicopter

Nerves of steel: Tom, who is famous for doing his own stunts, showed off his skill as he landed the helicopter

Thumbs up: The Hollywood heavyweight, 59, gave a friendly wave to cameras as he arrived in to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit in Limpopo

Thumbs up: The Hollywood heavyweight, 59, gave a friendly wave to cameras as he arrived in to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit in Limpopo

The production of the eighth installment so far has experienced a few difficulties during location shoots across England. 

It has been reported two yellow biplanes arrived in the area last week. Tom practiced a death-defying jump at Duxford Airfield in Cambridge back in November.  

Pictures taken at the time showed the actor hanging upside down from the wing of a World War II Boeing B75N1 Stearman biplane. 

Tom had been taking flying lessons at the airfield in preparation for exhilarating scenes and was seen climbing out of the bright yellow biplane as it soared to 2000 feet.

Filming: It is thought Tom and the Mission Impossible crew will stay for the next two months, with Blyde River Canyon providing the perfect film backdrop

Filming: It is thought Tom and the Mission Impossible crew will stay for the next two months, with Blyde River Canyon providing the perfect film backdrop 

Delays: Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an $290million outlay, with the eighth installment due 2024

Delays: Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an $290million outlay, with the eighth installment due 2024 

The Hollywood actor, dressed in a brown jumpsuit and helmet, was then seen bravely clinging onto the wing of the 80-year-old aircraft as it performed a nosedive and an array of aerobatics in a jaw-dropping stunt. 

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.

Arrival: After touching down, the Top Gun star headed over to his shuttle vehicle to take him to his lodgings

Arrival: After touching down, the Top Gun star headed over to his shuttle vehicle to take him to his lodgings

Action man: Cruise pulled of his most ambitious feat yet in November as he was seen hanging upside down from the wing of a World War II biplane while preparing for scenes for Mission Impossible 8

Action man: It has been reported two yellow biplanes arrived in the area last week, with Tom practicing a death-defying jump at Duxford Airfield in Cambridge back in November

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.  

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.   

Wow: The actor was seen filming the death-defying stunt at Duxford Airfield in Cambridge this week, with the 1941 Boeing B75N1 Stearman biplane performing a stomach-churching loop

Wow: The actor was seen filming the death-defying stunt at Duxford Airfield in Cambridge this week, with the 1941 Boeing B75N1 Stearman biplane performing a stomach-churching loop

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

‘We are the gold standard!’ A frazzled Cruise is 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. 

Train wreck: In April 2021 Tom and co-star British actress Hayley Atwell were pictured filming on top of a moving train while shooting scenes in Yorkshire

Train wreck: In April 2021 Tom and co-star British actress Hayley Atwell were pictured filming on top of a moving train while shooting scenes in Yorkshire

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