Mission: Impossible Was Right To Keep Henry Cavill's Mustache

Henry Cavill's Mustache in Mission Impossible 6 and Justice League

WARNING: Spoilers for Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout justifies Paramount making Henry Cavill keep his infamous mustache for the Justice League reshoots. Cavill's mustache is possibly one of the most talked about pieces of facial hair in cinematic history, a source of debate, humor and menace in equal measure.

The facial hair first appeared last year when Cavill started shooting his Mission: Impossible - Fallout role of August Walker in April 2017. It only became complicated, however, when Warner Bros. began Justice League reshoots in June; Joss Whedon's substantial changes to the DCEU team-up involved a lot of Superman, meaning Cavill had to work on both movies simultaneously. Of course, Superman doesn't have facial hair (at least in this iteration), but Paramount wouldn't allow Cavill to shave, meaning Warner Bros. instead had to digitally remove it with CGI. This led to Justice League's much-derided phantom upper-lip and gave the mustache something of cult status, with the actor even giving it an in memoriam video when he finally shaved it off.

Related: Henry Cavill's Mustache Explained

Now, the movie that caused all that ruckus is here. There's a lot to love about Mission: Impossible - Fallout but naturally, the grooming habits of Cavill's character are one of the key talking points. And, finally, the whole affair can be put to bed.

Yes, Henry Cavill Did Need The Mustache For Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett in Mission Impossible Fallout

In the eight months since Justice League, the question of why Cavill even needed a mustache for the other movie has been raised, although now it seems quite obvious: he is the villain of Mission: Impossible - Fallout. August Walker is not actually a CIA enforcer but anarchist John Lark who, along with Sean Harris' Solomon Lane, plots to set off two nuclear bombs in a bid to destabilize the world order. He's a strong-fisted fighter (who literally reloads his arms) and devious schemer.

Cavill understood that a villain has to look the part, which is why he suggested to director Christopher McQuarrie that he grow the mustache. It's a devious decision, working for both Walker the stooge and Lark the mastermind, and while it's not plot-essential, it does help contrast him to the hero; his final showdown with Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt sees him become a disfigured force of anger and the mustache just adds to that.

Paramount Were Right To Keep Cavill's Mustache Anyway

While Fallout justifies why Cavill should have had a mustache in the first place, some may still question why Paramount reportedly refused Warner Bros. $3 million offer to let him shave replace it was CGI. Of course, Justice League itself proves how unreliable digital augmentation can be, and while adding something is easier than taking it away, even with the extra time to get it right (the tight turnaround on Justice League's reshoot footage played a big part in why Superman's face looked so off) that doesn't make for a very attractive proposition: Warners would be shifting the facial humiliation to another studio.

Related: Justice League: Would The Snyder Cut Actually Be Better?

Walker had to have a mustache - the Justice League reshoots came about mid-way through Mission: Impossible's production, meaning that Cavill had already shot part with his natural hair - and Paramount were well within their rights to have it. They'd contractually locked the actor in for this period of shooting, which included growing the facial hair, and were already giving a lot by enabling him to do the reshoots on his time off.


Had the situation arisen before Mission: Impossible - Fallout began shooting, then there's a greater argument for compromise, but in the situation as it was - with Cavill playing a villain in need of some menace, a substantial portion of his role in the can, and no obligation on the studio's part - Paramount made the right call. It elevated Mission: Impossible - Fallout, while it's not like Superman's face was the only reason Justice League struggled...

Next: Mission: Impossible - Fallout's Ending Explained

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