The clue lies in an Instagram post from Mission Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie
Confirmed: Tom Cruise is shooting a film in Abu Dhabi, most likely Mission Impossible
We've known that Tom Cruise has been in the UAE for the past week, but it's now been confirmed that the Mission Impossible star is in fact shooting part of a film in Abu Dhabi. The source? The man himself:
So what movie is being filmed here? Well, we think it's most likely some scenes for Mission Impossible - Fallout are being shot here. The film is set to hit screens this July.
While it was widely reported that the shooting for the film had wrapped and IMDB says the film is in post-production, the film's director Christopher McQuarrie posted that the main shooting wrapped two weeks ago but that it was now "time to shoot the stunt", suggesting Cruise might be here to shoot action scenes among Abu Dhabi's desert and ocean landscapes:
The caption on the Instagram reads: "3000 setups / 13 helicopters / 6 pregnancies / 5 hiatuses / 4 weeks of aerial photography / 3 continents / 2 winters / 1 broken ankle / To the most amazing main unit on the planet, thank you for all of your hard work. That’s a wrap. / Splinter unit, mount up. Time to shoot the stunt."
While most people thought the caption meant that the film had wrapped completely they missed the nugget at the end of McQuarrie's comment: "Splinter unit, mount up. Time to shoot the stunt."
A splinter unit is a small part of a film's production crew that operates in a different location from the main unit to shoot extra scenes.
This suggests a stunt from the film hadn't yet been shot, the stunt in fact according to McQuarrie, which could be why Tom Cruise is in Abu Dhabi. He certainly seems to have been around helicopters while here:
The National reached out to Falcon Aviation, the company that operates the helicopter pictured above, but they said they couldn't comment on anything related to the Cruise shoot.
While we initially thought Tom Cruise might be here to scout for Top Gun: Maverick locations, according to IMDB the film is in pre-production, so it's unlikely he's shooting scenes for that yet, and his tweet clearly states that he's been actually filming in the UAE:
"Thank you to everyone in Abu Dhabi for the amazing help and cooperation. Our filming here continues to be a wonderful experience."
The trailer for the latest Mission Impossible film dropped last month and shows just how many different locations are in the film - from Queenstown in New Zealand to London in the UK - could Abu Dhabi be added to that list last minute?
Henry Cavill, who is also in Mission Impossible - Fallout shared this photo of himself yesterday in what looks distinctly like an Etihad First Class cabin: