Tom Cruise’s biggest franchise is on a hot streak coming off the successes of 2011’s Ghost Protocol and 2015’s Rogue Nation. This sequel will be missing a big piece of those films, however, as supporting action star Jeremy Renner is too tied up with production for Avengers: Infinity War to reprise his role as IMF agent William Brandt. Luckily, the series was able to replace one superhero actor with another, bringing Cavill on to support Cruise in this next adventure.
Following a behind-the-scenes photo from that showed Cavill in Paris with Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, we now have our first production still of the new character courtesy of McQuarrie’s Instagram. The look is a new one for Cavill, as he usually is seen onscreen with the clean shaven, “boy scout” look he’s become famous for in his performances as Clark Kent/Superman in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Take a look:
The picture appears to be in the back of some sort of vehicle, possibly an open helicopter. The last update McQuarrie gave on the film made it clear that filming had shifted from Paris to New Zealand, so this sequence ostensibly takes place there.
This appearance is not Cavill’s first foray into the spy genre, since he starred as Napoleon Solo alongside Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander in Guy Ritchie’s 2015 adaptation of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. That film was decidedly more old-fashioned than the Mission: Impossible series, with a Cold War 1960’s setting and nuclear armistice at the forefront.
Not much is known about Cavill’s character, or the plot of the film for that matter. We know that the returning actors from the previous films include Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames and Sean Harris. Along with Cavill, Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby join the cast as unknown characters. According to McQuarrie, the film will feature less of a “cutesy” tone than the previous Mission: Impossible films, as less time will be spent globetrotting and more time will be spent developing an emotional through-line for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.
On one hand, the globe-trotting elements and the death-defying stunts are what have made the last few Mission: Impossible films so fun, so minimizing those elements is a risk. On the other hand, the emotional relationship between Hunt and Michelle Monaghan’s Julia in Mission: Impossible III is one of the strongest parts of that film, so developing the relationships more between characters could be a surprising plus. Cavill may not be as strong an actor as Renner, but he will bring the same sort of physicality that will be necessary in what is ostensibly a sidekick role. It’s assumed that Cavill will fulfill that role, but there’s also the chance that Mission: Impossible 6 will surprise us and have him in some sort of antagonist role.
Mission: Impossible 6, produced by Paramount Pictures and SkyDance, is filming now for a July 2018 release date. For more information on the sequel, keep checking Screen Rant.