Tom Cruise breaks ankle, shutting down 'Mission: Impossible 6'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Cruise broke his ankle on the set of the upcoming “Mission: Impossible 6,” causing a halt in filming while the action star known for performing many of his own stunts recovers, Paramount Pictures said on Wednesday.

Paramount said the movie, one of the Viacom VIAB.O unit's biggest franchises, remained on schedule to open on July 27, 2018 despite the setback.

Cruise, 55, was seen in a video on celebrity news website TMZ trying to jump between the roofs of two high-rise buildings and landing hard against a wall during filming in London over the weekend. He was later seen limping off the set.

“During production on the latest ‘Mission: Impossible’ film, Tom Cruise broke his ankle while performing a stunt. Production will go on hiatus while Tom makes a full recovery,” Paramount said in a statement. “Tom wants to thank you all for your concern and support and can’t wait to share the film with everyone next summer.”

Paramount did not say how long production would be delayed. Hollywood trade paper Variety said filming could be halted anywhere from six weeks to three months while Cruise recovers. Variety said the actor also injured his hip.

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” in which Cruise reprised his role as agent Ethan Hunt, made more than $680 million at the worldwide box office in 2015, according to movie tracker

Cruise has carved a career as one of Hollywood’s top-earning and longest-running action stars, much of it built on his reputation for doing his own stunts, including swinging around a Dubai skyscraper and hanging off the outside of a cargo plane as takes off.

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“I just don’t sleep, I just keep going,” he told Reuters in 2015 while promoting “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.”

“Mission: Impossible 6” director Christopher McQuarrie told Britain’s Empire magazine in an interview posted on Wednesday that Cruise was in “very good spirits” after his injury.

McQuarrie said Cruise was performing a stunt over numerous takes where he was meant to hit the wall of the building hard, climb onto the roof and sink to his knees. On his fourth try, McQuarrie said Cruise “hit the building at a slightly different angle” and broke his right ankle.

“He was always supposed to slam into the side of the building. That’s what gives the stunt its energy,” the director said. “He knew the instant that he hit the building that his ankle was broken.”

McQuarrie said he did not know how long the hiatus would be but there were still seven or eight weeks left of filming.

It was not immediately clear whether the delays on “Mission: Impossible 6” could also lead to problems filming the long-awaited sequel to Cruise’s 1986 hit “Top Gun,” also from Paramount.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” is scheduled to be released in July 2019.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown