When writer/director Christopher McQuarrie begins filming Mission: Impossible 6 this April, he will become the first director to helm more than one Mission: Impossible movie. Each entry prior to the fifth installment (Rogue Nation) had the distinction of being one-off projects, directed by such filmmakers as Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird.
Earning positive reviews and big box office, McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation proved the IMF franchise isn't going away any time soon. Tom Cruise's opening stunt, which saw him (really) hanging from the side of a plane as limber as he clung to that bullet train in the first installment, topped everything we've seen Ethan Hunt do before. But who is Ethan Hunt, really? What makes him tick? And most of all, why have we never seen him very upset?
Director McQuarrie joined Empire for their 250th podcast episode at a sold-out live recording at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, where he was more than excited to dive into some of the details of the next Mission: Impossible film. In the podcast, he confirms an April 10th start date in Paris, France with Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson returning. He also teased that some characters from previous M:I installments will return, though not those "you would expect."
McQuarrie, is an Oscar winner for writing The Usual Suspects, and a long time collaborator with Tom Cruise having written Valkyrie, Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow and the upcoming reboot The Mummy. On the podcast, it's clear that he and producer/actor Cruise have a very collaborative relationship. When asked how he plans to top the plane stunt from Rogue Nation, he hints of a recent decision to "fall off" of something even more impressive:
I came to Tom with a picture of something and Tom looked at it and said, ‘That’s awesome! I want to fall off of that!’ It’s like, OK, I can see it on a poster, and I can see Tom falling off of it.”
It's not going to be all action in M:I 6, and the director claims that the biggest change in the next installment will be that "it starts in a very unconventional way" not starting with action. “I’ve seen five of these movies and I don’t know who Ethan Hunt is," states the director. "I want to know who Ethan is in this movie, I want an emotional journey for this character, and Tom really embraced it.”
In the full hour-long interview, more details are revealed about the character-focused approach, which seems to indicate the franchise is moving toward more developed continuity, while retaining its core mission-based storylines. Should the filmmakers need to, there's plenty of material to pull from, as the original television series lasted a long seven seasons.
Probably most intriguing for fans of the previous films is this interview's promise of past characters returning. Who would you like to see back in the action, or apparently back with more character explanations? Let us know with a comments. As for what Tom Cruise will "fall from" in Mission: Impossible 6, here are some possibilities.