THE new Mission: Impossible film was plunged into more chaos by a motorbike blaze on a £2million set.
Star Tom Cruise was heading to the quarry “snow scene” as the stuntman’s bike exploded after a leap from a ramp.
The action sequence is one of the most expensive filmed in the UK and took six weeks to prepare.
Tom, 58, who checked out the stunt set-up the day before, is said to be furious.
He had been filming with a parachute in a nearby field for his return as Ethan Hunt in the franchise’s seventh instalment.
A source said: “This has been a massive challenge to stage and has cost a fortune, not to mention weeks and weeks of construction. But when it came to the big day, it went horribly wrong.
“The idea was for the stuntman to land on some huge pillows filled with card to cushion the blow, while the bike safely crashed to the ground a few metres away.
“Unfortunately, it was miscalculated.
“The heat and the friction of the tyres meant that when the bike crashed, the cardboard padding sparked and went up in flames. The smoke was so bad they had to close a nearby RAF airfield.
“Fortunately, nobody was hurt but it’s a total catastrophe, not to mention extremely expensive for all concerned. Tom is very frustrated. Nobody wants more delays.”
Oxfordshire Fire Service dispatched five engines and crews on Tuesday night. Ambulances also raced to the quarry.
Insiders say the set has been temporarily closed as movie bosses try to figure out what went wrong.
The film — also starring Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Ving Rhames — was one of the first to be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Italian government shut down its set in Venice, forcing stars and crew to quickly return to the UK.
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They then set up a short-term location at an abandoned air base in Oxfordshire. The Sun revealed how the film’s HQ was kitted out with VIP trailers for the leading cast members and staff.
The arrangement was to allow the team to rattle through scenes while living in a “bubble” to ensure nobody contracted coronavirus and derailed the project further.
The film’s July 2021 release had been put back to the November even before the stunt blaze.
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