The saga of Henry Cavill's Mission: Impossible - Fallout mustache is winding to a close, so we're recapping the bizarre story. Only in Hollywood can a piece of facial hair cause so much controversy. As many people know by now, Cavill grew a mustache for his role in Fallout, but production on the action sequel overlapped with Justice League reshoots. As a result, Warner Bros. made the curious decision to remove Cavill's mustache digitally, a decision that partially derailed the film. People haven't been able to stop talking about it since - especially after seeing the results.
Now that Fallout is about to hit theaters, Cavill and his infamous mustache are in the news again. While Justice League disappointed critically and commercially, Fallout is being hailed as one of the greatest action movies in years, meaning audiences got one great film out of this whole mess. Before fans close the book on this odyssey, we're recapping the key points of the narrative. Whether you want to relive it all or are new to the story, this is the place to be.
Why Did Henry Cavill Grow A Mustache?
From the sound of things, Cavill was under the impression he had wrapped his role as Superman in Justice League by the time he officially signed for Fallout (he was confirmed in March 2017). In April of that year, he was photographed on-set sporting the infamous facial hair. In a recent interview, Cavill seemed to express regret over the way things turned out, saying he would have gone in a different direction had he known about the Justice League reshoots ahead of time. Warner Bros. had difficulty scheduling all the Justice League actors for additional photography, so they may not have had all the relevant information by the time Cavill was cast in Fallout.
Cavill's mustache was most definitely a stylistic choice and not a character requirement. Prior to filming Fallout, the actor had just finished the film Nomis, where he has long hair and a beard. The actor made the decision to keep the mustache and discussed the look with Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie. They agreed it was befitting of Cavill's Agent Walker, and that was the extent of the conversation. At the time, nobody could have predicted the chaos the mustache would cause, so there was no need to have a more extensive dialogue about it. However, when they decided to go with the mustache, it was locked in for the entirety of production.
Why Henry Cavill Couldn't Shave the Mustache
As fate would have it, Justice League reshoots coincided with Mission: Impossible - Fallout production. Of course, these were not your typical pickups; new director Joss Whedon was tasked with massively overhauling the final product, deviating from Zack Snyder's initial vision. This meant Cavill was required to return to the World of DC and be Superman again, but there was one problem. Kal-El is clean-shaven, and Cavill was contractually obligated to keep his Fallout mustache. Shaving it and wearing a fake for Mission: Impossible was out of the question, due to the physical nature of his role. According to McQuarrie, they would need a "liberal dose of staples" to keep it on.
To his credit, McQuarrie wanted to help Justice League in any way he could. When WB called Cavill in for reshoots, they asked McQuarrie if Cavill could shave the mustache and resume filming Fallout when he grew it back. WB also offered to pay for any CGI needed to digitally add the facial hair (which would have been around $3 million). McQuarrie was willing to go through with it, but Paramount nixed the plan because they were committed to meeting Fallout's scheduled July 2018 release date and didn't want to stop production. The irony, of course, is Tom Cruise's ankle injury forced McQuarrie to shut down for eight weeks, but the timing didn't work out. Because Justice League had its own release date to hit, they had little choice but to resort to desperate measures.
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018