A Look at Tom Cruise’s $160,000 London Movie Helicopter Landing
Those of you who are fans of science fiction movies might remember the rather underrated 2014 flick “Edge of Tomorrow”. In the film, Tom Cruise plays U.S. Army Major William Cage, a military public affairs officer who gets forced into active combat service against an extraterrestrial occupation of the European mainland.
In one memorable scene among many in the big-budget Hollywood film, Cruise’s character arrives in London, England, for a combat PR tour from the invasion staging ground. He makes his entrance by landing in a military helicopter right next to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The scene is quite impressive, and especially when you pause to wonder if it was real or constructed through CGI.
As it turns out, it was all very much authentic filming of a real landing right in the heart of one of London’s most historic landmarks.
One of Tom Cruise’s extremely specific stipulations for signing on as a cast member of the movie was that he be allowed to land a helicopter in the middle of Trafalgar Square. “Edge of Tomorrow” location manager Georgette Turner, then had just 14 weeks to organize the unusual and very expensive request.
As Turner explains, “We had three hours on a Sunday morning to shut everything down and film it. Tom was flown in by the RAF in a historic Puma helicopter.”. And just how much did this one single three-hour scene cost? It carved a hefty $160,000 (£120,000) chunk out of the movie’s production budget.
We’re assuming it was a worthwhile price to pay for having a megastar like Cruise happy enough to grace the film with his name.
Despite this anecdote that could easily be interpreted as a classic example of spoiled celebrity demands, Turner remembers working with Tom Cruise quite fondly. She elaborates that the actor was extremely courteous to the production staff. According to the location manager, “He made sure he knew everybody’s name.” She also adds that “Someone must have told him I liked cheese because on the last day I got a big hamper of it.”
The helicopter scene wasn’t without its technical hiccups either, because shortly after the helicopter landed Cruise safely for the cameras, it broke down.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.