Last month, Paramount decided against pitting the Tom Cruise-headlined Mission: Impossible 5 against Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in the December 2015 box office frame. The studio thus bumped up Ethan Hunt’s latest adventure to a less-competitive spot: the last day of July this year; meaning, the marketing push for the film will be getting underway soon than expected (while the window for its post-production is now much smaller).
Hence, it’s natural to be somewhat taken aback by today’s new update on Mission: Impossible 5‘s progress: that the project recently took a brief rest from filming, in order for co-writer and director Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) to rework the movie’s finale. However, before anyone starts panicking, it doesn’t sound as though Cruise’s new big screen thriller is in any real (or, rather, major) trouble for the time being.
This Mission: Impossible 5 news arrives courtesy of THR, which reports that the break in production was to allow time for the finale to be revised by McQuarrie and a “writer friend” who will neither be paid nor credited. The situation somewhat recalls how Edge of Tomorrow co-writer Jez Butterworth isn’t credited for helping on the script for the upcoming James Bond movie, Spectre (which he did as a favor to director Sam Mendes), on the eve of production getting started.
Here’s more insight on the situation, via THR‘s article:
“Chris [McQuarrie], Tom [Cruise] and a third person wanted to take a minute to get from what they thought was a good place to a more perfect place,” says this person, noting that if the studio had been really concerned, it would not have moved up the release date.
McQuarrie, for his part, has responded to THR‘s report as follows via his official Twitter account – clarifying that, as of right now, filming on Mission: Impossible 5 is (back) ongoing:
Another THR source at Paramount half-joked that Mission: Impossible 5‘s production stop is nothing compared to what the life-saving maneuvers that the studio performed on World War Z a couple years back (where the entire third act was re-written and re-shot). Indeed, if McQuarrie only stopped filming for a week, that suggests he’s not made any huge changes to the M:I 5 finale; said changes might just involve a slight change in location for the final set piece/confrontation that’s part of Hunt and his IMF team’s latest life-threatening assignment.
Mission: Impossible 5‘s script has been officially credited to five different writers – including, McQuarrie, Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), Will Staples (the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 video game), and Laeta Kaleogridis and Patrick Lussier (Terminator: Genisys) – which, in many ways, seems as much (if not more) cause for concern that the filming delay. It’s not always the best of signs when a movie’s screenplay has passed through quite so many hands (too many cooks spoiling the broth and whatnot), even before you take the latest revision work into account.
On the other hand, there’s a good chance that all of these writers have been working on the same page; that is, concerned with realizing McQuarrie and Cruise’s vision for what this latest installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise ought to be. That’s opposed to, bringing in different screenwriters who each have their own different ideas for what the movie could or ought to be, which doesn’t appear to be the case here.
So long as the Mission: Impossible 5 writers’ contributions (combined with McQuarrie’s revised ending) come together in a unified fashion and result in another kick-ass ride with Cruise and his IMF team – with Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg all returning as part of Ethan’s crew, along with such franchise newcomers as Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) and Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) – then the ends will justify the effort it took to get there.
Mission: Impossible 5 opens in U.S. theaters on July 31st, 2015.