The Mummy – How Did They Do Those Stunts?

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Lets take a look at some of the facts behind the scenes..


  • As seen in Universal Pictures’ The Mummy trailer above and in the behind-the-scenes featurette, there is a plane-crash sequence in the upcoming film starring Tom Cruise that was shot 90% practically.
  • Over the course of his career, Cruise has dedicated himself to accomplishing ever-more ambitious practical stunts, ones that would test the most seasoned stunt performer. His goal is to place the audience right next to his characters…in every single frame captured by the camera.
  • In the Mission: Impossible series, Cruise free-climbed the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), gripped the outside of an in-flight transport plane (eight times), made free-water dives of 130 ft., hung from Utah’s jagged Dead Horse Point by his fingertips and leaped from a Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle…only to tackle a co-star mid-flight.
  • Whether dangling on the 800-ft. edge of Iceland’s Earl’s Peak for Oblivion or slamming his Chevelle into fellow drivers’ cars in Jack Reacher, it’s crucial to the performer that he pushes himself further in each film, and that the audience shares in the adrenaline.
  • Cruise has long wanted to lens in Zero Gravity, and in The Mummy, one tactical stunt has become his biggest, most demanding maneuver to date. In order to shoot one of the most visceral plane-crash sequences ever filmed, he’d need to take to the skies.

Details of the Stunt

  • Almost four miles above sea level, Cruise, co-star Annabelle Wallis and key crew—all under the eye of The Mummy director/producer Alex Kurtzman—lensed a sequence that is impossible to shoot on land.
  • Off the coast of France near Bordeaux—over two days and multiple flights—pilots and astronauts of Novespace Airbus (A-310) took the company 20,000 ft. high.
  • From this altitude, they climbed rapidly to a 50-degree angle to just over 25,000 feet; there, the plane reduced thrust, and free fell from the sky.
  • For 22-23 seconds during the ballistic phase, the company felt weightless.
  • As the Airbus free fell, cast and crew balanced dialogue, camerawork and choreography for a plane-crash scene that will appear in summer 2017’s The Mummy.
    For the stunt, the pilots enacted a total of 60 parabolas (repeated weightlessness sessions).
  • Each parabola allowed for the filming of a key sequence in the scene.
  • At least 90% of the plane crash sequence is practical. The only visual effects will be added in post-production and blend sets together so they look the same size and scale.

Parabolic Flights/Airbus Zero-G Tech Facts

  • Under the direction of European Space Agency astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy, crew filmed with Novespace, founder of the first parabolic (Zero Gravity) flights in Europe.
  • The Zero-G Airbus is the only plane in the world manned by three pilots simultaneously: one controls pitch, one controls the wings and one controls thrust.
  • The “pull-up” phase starts at full thrust and max speed from level flight until a 50-degree incline, before the “injection” phase and beginning of weightless (actual freefall, not floating).
  • During “pull up,” those aboard feel twice their weight on Earth.
  • The aircraft is briefly injected into orbit, following an elliptical trajectory above the Earth, so passengers live the true weightlessness that astronauts feel.

The Mummy hits theaters June 9th