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Tom Cruise pilots his own helicopter as he touches down and waves to adoring fans in South Africa

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Tom Cruise pilots his own helicopter as he touches down and waves to adoring fans in South Africa to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8










Tom Cruise lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to touch down in South Africa on Sunday.

The Hollywood heavyweight, 59, gave a friendly wave and smile to fans as he arrived to film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo.

The movie star wore a blue polo shirt, gray trousers and walking boots and removed his face mask after stepping off the helicopter.

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All smiles: Tom Cruise, 59, gave a friendly wave and smile to fans as he arrived for film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo
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All smiles: Tom Cruise, 59, gave a friendly wave and smile to fans as he arrived for film scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 in Hoedspruit, Limpopo

According to reports, he has been staying in the small northern town of Hoedspruit, near the border with Mozambique.

The actor, who plays Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots.

This week, he told fans: ‘It’s so awesome to see you. I can’t wait for you to see the next movie. Thank you for coming out today.’

Chopper: The Hollywood heavyweight lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to touch down in South Africa on Sunday

Chopper: The Hollywood heavyweight lived up to his action man status as he piloted his own helicopter to touch down in South Africa on Sunday

Casual: The movie star wore a blue polo shirt, gray trousers and walking boots and removed his face mask after stepping off the helicopter

Casual: The movie star wore a blue polo shirt, gray trousers and walking boots and removed his face mask after stepping off the helicopter

One of them asked Tom if he would ever move to South Africa to which he said: ‘I’d love to, it would be nice to live here. We’re very excited. We’ve wanted to film here for a very long time.’

Discussing what he saw on his helicopter trip, he said: ‘We just saw some cheetahs or lions, they were right in front of someone’s driveway.’

Before making his leave, the star added: ‘Thank you all for your hospitality. It means a lot to me.’

Movie star: According to reports, he has been staying in the small northern town of Hoedspruit, near the border with Mozambique

Movie star: According to reports, he has been staying in the small northern town of Hoedspruit, near the border with Mozambique

Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an outstanding $290million outlay.

One notable factor in the film’s enormous budget has been the global pandemic, which swept across mainland Europe shortly after principal photography got underway in Venice in February 2020.

Lockdown and a desperate attempt to work around COVID-19 resulted in the production enduring an inauspicious start – with cast and crew forced to stop work after Northern Italy closed its doors.

Sources claim constant infections, coupled with national health restrictions and the pandemic’s refusal to die down resulted in more costs, because crew members needed to be paid accommodation, given expenses and offered hotel during extended quarantine and lockdown periods.

Chatting away: The actor, who plays Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots

Chatting away: The actor, who plays Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, has been flying himself to scenes in nearby Kruger National Park and has been staying in the town between shoots

Smooth landing: Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an impressive $290million outlay

Smooth landing: Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 7, 2023, following a turbulent production which has demanded an impressive $290million outlay

Meanwhile the film’s release date has been subject to change, with its original September 2021 launch pushed back to July 2022, with Paramount citing ‘delays due to the ongoing pandemic.’

The wait adds interest to an already overblown budget while having a domino effect on work-in-progress Mission: Impossible 8, which is now expected to launch on July 24 2024 instead of its intended release date, July 7 2023.

The relentless pressure to finish the film may well have been the catalyst for Tom’s high-profile outburst on set in December 2020 after a crew-member breached the COVID protocol – putting the production in further jeopardy.

‘We are the gold standard!’ Tom was heard yelling in a recording of the incident. ‘They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us!

Daredevil: Tom is known for doing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible movies (pictured in Mission Impossible 2)

Daredevil: Tom is known for doing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible movies (pictured in Mission Impossible 2)

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