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Edge of Tomorrow
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Just how did Tom Cruise land that chopper in Trafalgar Square?

Looking back at ‘Edge of Tomorrow’s West End-clearing centrepiece

Written by
Thomas Hobbs

Just how did Tom Cruise get permission to land a helicopter in front of the National Gallery in 2014’s underrated sci-fi actioner?

The location:
Trafalgar Square, WC2.

The scene: A voracious alien species has invaded earth and army PR man Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) has been enlisted to fight them. Travelling to London to weasel his way out of combat duty, he lands next to the National Gallery in a chopper. Not a bad entrance, eh?

Then: When Cruise signed up to star in this 2014 sci-fi, he had one stipulation: ‘Tom wanted to land a helicopter in the middle of Trafalgar Square,’ says location manager Georgette Turner, who had 14 weeks to organise it all. ‘We had three hours on a Sunday morning to shut everything down and film it,’ she remembers. ‘Tom was flown in by the RAF in a historic Puma helicopter.’ The sequence took a £120,000 bite out of the film’s budget.

Now: The Doug Liman sci-fi has gone on to build a cult following. Turner, meanwhile, looks back fondly on her experience working with Cruise. ‘He made sure he knew everybody’s name,’ she says. ‘Someone must have told him I liked cheese because on the last day I got a big hamper of it. I was just glad we landed him safely, as the helicopter actually broke down after we finished filming.’ 

​​Edge of Tomorrow is streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play.

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