Actor Tom Cruise has confirmed he is filming a project in Abu Dhabi, but the helicopter he was pictured in front of was not part of the shoot, tabloid! can confirm.
Cruise, currently teasing his upcoming film Mission: Impossible — Fallout (MI6), was snapped posing in front of a Falcon Aviation helicopter on February 23, but he was only there “as a customer” says Wali Khan, the helicopter landing officer seen pictured with him.
With Tom Cruise pic.twitter.com/Inoknpinf2— Wali Khan (@walikhan23) February 26, 2018
“He’s just a tourist with us, no filming,” confirmed Khan. “He’s a really nice guy. The way he’s [interacting] with friends is full of smiles and really honest. While he takes off and while he lands, he comes to us to shake hands and appreciate us. I meet a lot of celebrities, but he’s one amazing guy. He’s very nice.”
Thank you to everyone in Abu Dhabi for the amazing help and cooperation. Our filming here continues to be a wonderful experience.— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) March 6, 2018
Cruise features in a recent trailer for MI6 pulling off plenty of daredevil sequences involving helicopters. The actor plans to fly with Falcon again towards the end of the month, claims Khan, but they will not be supplying any helicopters for filming. Falcon Aviation provides fleets of “luxurious helicopters and corporate jets,” according to their website. They do provide helicopters for film shoots but did not do so for this project.
Cruise confirmed that he is filming in Abu Dhabi with a tweet thanking the city.
“Thank you to everyone in Abu Dhabi for the amazing help and cooperation. Our filming here continues to be a wonderful experience,” tweeted Cruise after midnight on March 7.
Cruise famously scaled the Burj Khalifa in Dubai for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (MI4) in 2010. MI6 is set to release in July.
Tom Cruise scales Burj Khalifa. A behind-the-scenes look at the death-defying stunts that Tom cruise performed on Dubai's Burj Khalifa during the filming of 2011's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Director Christopher McQuarrie suggested that the movie’s main unit had wrapped filming on February 22, but that a splinter unit, which often shoots at a different location, was still shooting.
“3000 setups, 13 helicopters, 6 pregnancies, 5 hiatuses, 4 weeks of aerial photography, 3 continents, 2 winters, 1 broken ankle,” McQuarrie posted to Instagram. “[M]ain unit...That’s a wrap. Splinter unit, mount up. Time to shoot the stunt.”
A representative for twofour54, the primary production house in Abu Dhabi, could not provide a comment when Gulf News tabloid! reached out.
Cruise was also seen in Dubai last weekend. Ahmad Al Shaikh, a media personality, posted a photo with Cruise on Twitter on February 24.
“I was happy to host the global superstar Tom Cruise at my house in Dubai. Tom was the first actor to bring a big motion picture to be filmed in the UAE. We talked about the best ways of making the UAE a hotspot and a magnet for global filmmaking,” wrote Al Shaikh.
A representative of Dubai Film and TV Commission could not confirm to Gulf News tabloid! whether Cruise was in the UAE for business or leisure at the time.
Cruise has previously filmed in Dubai, but seems to be based in the capital city this time around.
The Abu Dhabi Film Commission offers a 30 per cent cash rebate to productions. Fast & Furious 7 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens both filmed partially in Abu Dhabi.