Tom Cruise wasn't born on the Fourth of July, but came close -- and on his special day, a filmmaking partner is honoring him by basically saying ... never change, you nutty bastard.
The actor turned 60 Sunday, and to ring in the milestone ... director Christopher McQuarrie posted a wild photo to celebrate TC and the death-defying stunts that he still carries out himself to this day ... including on the forthcoming 'Mission: Impossible' movie(s).
As you can see, there's Tommy dangling from the wing of an old-timey biplane ... without anyone in the cockpit, it seems. Just Tom hanging on solo, without much assistance.
McQuarrie didn't add much context to this pic -- other than wishing Tom a happy 60th -- but it's pretty obvious this is from either "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" or 'Part Two' ... both of which CMQ is helming with Tom in the driver's seat.
One description of this stunt -- which was reported on last year, as eyewitnesses saw Tom practicing in the U.K. -- explains he'll apparently slip out of the cockpit, make his way to the wing of the plane, hang there as the plane nosedives, and then do a barrel roll to boot.
Unclear if this will be featured in 'M:I 7' '8' ... but in any case, Chris seems to have thought its worthy to throw up as an homage to Tom -- who continues to live like a daredevil.
In fact, this plane thing is just a taste of what he'll do in the new flick -- as we learned from the teaser trailer last month, Tom is also going to jump off a cliff while on a motorcycle ... only to be saved by a parachute. Indeed, his reputation only gets cemented with each flick.
Lots of reasons to be happy if you're Tom Cruise today -- not only is it his born day, but his latest blockbuster, "Top Gun: Maverick," hit a huge benchmark that he's never achieved ... the film has grossed over a billion dollars worldwide at the box office. And, it's still rolling.