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Christopher McQuarrie on the meaning of new Mission: Impossible title

Yesterday the very gracious and giving Tom Cruise bestowed upon us the official title for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT. Many have been wondering what the hell it means, even nitpicking that it doesn’t have the spy-movie ring to it like “Sprint Another Day” or “The Man with the Golden Legs” would have. Director Christopher McQuarrie is here to answer all your questions about the title, revealing it has many layers…like a cake. Everybody loves cake.

After the title was revealed, Empire got on the phone with McQuarrie and asked him about all things FALLOUT. The director said the title not only refers to an incident Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team find themselves in, but also how Hunt’s own past is coming back to confront him.

The title has multiple meanings in the film, from the literal to the figurative. There is the threat of nuclear terrorism hanging over the movie, which is the literal threat. There’s the notion that what’s happened in the movie is the end result of choices that Ethan Hunt has made in his life. It’s Ethan’s past come back to haunt him. It’s the fallout of all his good intentions.

Past titles for MI4 and MI5 were GHOST PROTOCOL and ROGUE NATION, thus creating a recent tradition of two-word titles. FALLOUT breaks that trend for something more direct, which is something McQuarrie and the team put serious thought into.

The one thing that came out of it was I thought it should be a one-word title. This is a different kind of movie, it should be expressing a different attitude. It should be striking its own ground, and that’s what I felt Fallout did.

When the title was revealed yesterday I also was a little surprised, thinking it would be more along the lines of "Operation Hurricane" or "Russian Executive." But FALLOUT has a nice ring to it, and it probably has a more complex meaning in the context of the movie than the past titles had. The way McQuarrie talks about the movie makes me more anxious to see, as it sounds like it will dig into Hunt as a character more than the other movies have, which is saying something considering this movie series has been around for 20 years. On that note, I do like "Operation Hurricane" a bit better. 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT hits theaters July 27.

Source: Empire

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