The latest installation of the Mission Impossible franchise — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” — made waves at the cinemas, grossing over £410 million ($500 million) at the global box office. Considering it was in steep competition, releasing only ten days before the much-anticipated “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” the film’s total sales were impressive.
This goes to show just how much audiences love the series. It was even the UK’s best-selling film for two weeks on the UK’s Official Film Chart based on digital sales. Considering the franchise is known for its exciting action scenes and death-defying stunts, it should be no surprise that Tom Cruise, the actor of the movie’s main protagonist, collaborated with Oakley for his most intense stunt to date.
The stunt in question is the scene in “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” when Cruise’ Ethan Hunt drives off a mountainside on a motorcycle. After a few seconds of air time, he triggers a parachute to land safely. Cruise is known for doing his own stunt work, and during filming, he repeated the sequence six times to get the right shot.
The right tools, including eyewear, were needed to ensure the actor’s safety. It’s already challenging to perform something as dangerous, but to do so without eye protection could spell disaster. This thinking led to Cruise partnering with the eyewear brand Oakley to create a functional and practical piece of equipment that could help him safely execute the stunt.
The scene called for protective and sturdy glasses, as well as something that wouldn’t slip off with a lot of movement. Oakley then developed their ECLP23 specifically for the film. It is designed with a clear goggle-like look, offering complete coverage protection while allowing for a clear field of view. Rather than using hinges, it is also secured by a band, giving what the brand calls a zero gravity feel.
Oakley’s VP of Design, Nick Garfias, explains that safety and protection were their utmost priority when they were first contacted to create eyewear for this scene. They developed different versions of the goggles, sending them over weekly to see if Cruise was satisfied with their performance. It took months of work before they could craft something that fit the actor’s needs for the stunt.
Eyewear for performance
The brand is known for developing performance eyewear. Oakley’s line of sunglasses has cemented itself in mainstream culture as the go-to outdoor sunnies because of their function. Case in point: their M2 frame is built with their patented lightweight O Matter material and Unobtanium nose pads that prevent slipping. Another one of their popular models, the Sutro, is made with the same materials as the M2 but with a broader frame, offering a larger protected area.
With this, the brand’s glasses have been a go-to for many who need eye protection for activities that involve a lot of movement. For example, Vogue reported that Ato Boldon, a track olympian, wore a pair of earless glasses from Oakley. He went on to win a silver medal during his event. The brand’s Overthetop model has since been a favourite of many runners as it aids in their sight without impeding their performance.
It’s uncertain if Oakley will continue collaborating with Cruise for the next instalment of “Mission Impossible,” but it certainly wouldn’t be out of left field. Considering the brand’s history of making sunglasses that work well for high-speed activities, another partnership may happen shortly. There is also no news on whether or not the ECLP23 will be released to the public, as the collaboration was still a prototype— but there is always a possibility for Oakley to do so.