“Lights, Camera, Action!” KwaZulu-Natal scenery will form the backdrop for Tom Cruise’s latest movie and the Top Gun star’s presence reinforces the province’s reputation as an ideal location for international movie makers.

When Cruise’s chopper raised dust as it landed in Ladysmith earlier this week, it signalled tourism’s return to normal after a long lockdown lull.

Cruise is currently in South Africa filming for the next “Mission: Impossible” film. He scouted location around Ladysmith before flying off to the Central Drakensberg to continue the shoot. 

The star’s touchdown in KwaZulu-Natal gives the province a major destination awareness opportunity as the “Mission: Impossible” action spy series is a top favourite for millions of movie fans around the globe.

Cruise’s visit sets the benchmark for other big movie makers to realise that if KZN is safe for Tom Cruise, then it must be safe for the world.

KZN has had many other celebrities such as Sean Penn, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beats, Ludacris, Chris Brown and Michael Bublé.

Brett Tungay, FEDHASA Chairperson in KZN, said Cape Town used to receive the lion’s share of international film makers. However, it appeared to now be KZN’s turn to catch the eye of international movie producers.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not just for the leisure tourism industry but holistically for the province and businesses in KZN.

“Accommodation establishments are filling up as more international celebrities explore the beautiful province and we look forward to hosting more international celebrities,” he said. 

Jackie Motsepe, KwaZulu Natal Film Commission Chief Operating Officer said it is with warm hearts that the people of KZN welcome and host Tom Cruise. 

“Tom Cruise’s choice of a film location underscores what we continue to communicate to the world that KZN is one of the best film destinations in Africa and the world. 

“When big film producers choose to shoot in the province, the local municipality, local communities and businesses benefit as they participate in the opportunities that are created as a result.  

“I want to take this opportunity to thank and commend the community of Bergville and Drakensburg for working with the ‘Mission: Impossible’ team and giving them the best experiences in KZN,” she said.

Photo credit: The Citizen

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