Mission: Impossible - Fallout continues a franchise tradition of putting together a great ensemble, and we're running down the main players. Ethan Hunt is the main attraction, but the name of the series (unlike Bourne and James Bond) puts the emphasis on the team, so he's got plenty of help along the way.
Fallout is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise and second from director Christopher McQuarrie. It sees Ethan and his IMF team attempt to make amends after a mission goes horribly wrong. This time, Hunt gets a little extra assistance from the CIA to contend with the vicious villains he's matched up against. Lately, Mission: Impossible has embraced continuity by having a certain crop of actors return, but Fallout also introduces some new faces.
Here's a rundown of who's who in the latest Mission: Impossible film.
The Returning Mission: Impossible Cast
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt - Cruise has been the face of the Mission: Impossible movies from the beginning, brilliantly portraying IMF agent Ethan. Over the past 22 years, the franchise has become Cruise's vehicle to pull of his latest death-defying stunts, such as HALO jumping out of an airplane. In keeping with a series tradition, Fallout finds Hunt on the run with his team following a failed mission. The trailers have indicated audiences will see a darker side to Ethan this time around, as he's open to "reconsidering" what he can be in order to get the job done.
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell - Other than Cruise, Rhames is the only actor to appear in all six movies to date. In the original Mission: Impossible, Ethan recruited Luther to help break into Langley, and he's been a trusted ally ever since. Luther's role in the movies has been somewhat fluid; in Ghost Protocol he made a cameo towards the very end to keep his perfect attendance record intact. For Fallout, he looks to be a key part of Ethan's team once again.
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn - After the success of 2004's Shaun of the Dead, Pegg joked, "I'm not about to go and star in Mission: Impossible III." As fate would have it, J.J. Abrams cast Pegg in that very film as Benji, an IMF technician, and he's been a key part of the films for the last 12 years. In the subsequent sequels, Dunn was promoted to field agent and is one of the few people Ethan trusts. In Fallout, their friendship continues, as Benji is part of Hunt's team.
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust - The breakout star of 2015's Rogue Nation, McQuarrie knew he had to bring back Ilsa for Fallout. When audiences first met Faust, she was an MI6 agent sent undercover to infiltrate the Syndicate and crossed paths with Ethan on more than one occasion. She eventually fought alongside Ethan's team and helped them capture Solomon Lane. In Fallout, the two appear to be at odds, as the trailers depict Ilsa warning Ethan. She's involved in the plot for her own mysterious reasons.
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley - First introduced in Rogue Nation, Hunley was the CIA director whose main interest was shutting down the IMF. As the film progressed, he realized the value of the organization (Hunt in particular) and changed his tune. At the end of Rogue Nation, he was appointed as new IMF secretary, which is a position he still holds in Fallout.
Michelle Monaghan as Julia Meade-Hunt - Julia is Ethan's wife and made her first appearance in Mission: Impossible III, where she played a sizable role in the plot. Her part was greatly diminished in the last two films; Ghost Protocol reveals Ethan and Julia live apart in order to keep her safe, and Rogue Nation makes no mention of her. Marketing has downplayed Julia's return in Fallout, so it'll be interesting to see how she fits into the narrative this time around.
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane - The first Mission: Impossible villain to appear in more than one film, Lane made his debut in Rogue Nation, where he led the Syndicate. Despite his imprisonment, a faction of the group remains active, carrying out Lane's deeds. It's up to Ethan and his team to thwart their plans. Solomon is the closest Ethan has had to a true nemesis in the Mission: Impossible films, having slipped through Hunt's fingers many times before. In Rogue Nation, Ethan was obsessed with bringing him down.
The New Mission: Impossible Cast
Angela Bassett as Erica Sloane - With Hunley now the IMF secretary, the CIA is in need of a new director. Enter Sloane, who has a no-nonsense attitude about her job. In the trailers, she's very critical of Ethan's choice to save his team over keeping the plutonium - a decision that risks the lives of millions.
Henry Cavill as August Walker - He of the infamous mustache, Cavill's CIA assassin is arguably the most prominent newcomer to the franchise. Walker reports to Sloane, and is assigned to closely monitor Hunt's team after Ethan fails his mission early in the film. The relationship between Walker and the IMF group looks to be complicated, since footage in marketing depicts him coming to blows with Ethan. Sloane describes Walker as a "hammer," and he's a bit of a brawler.
Vanessa Kirby as White Widow - Ethan's second attempt to obtain the plutonium comes via this infamous, mysterious black market arms dealer. Marketing has downplayed the extent of her role, but longtime fans of the franchise will be happy to know her character has a major connection to one of the prior movies.
Frederick Schmidt as Zola - This hulking gangster is the brother of Kirby's White Widow.
Wes Bentley as Patrick - The American Beauty actor also joins the cast, though he has been absent from marketing. His role in the movie isn't a plot spoiler, but we can't reveal it in this space.
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018