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Mission: Impossible - Fallout originally had a darker plot-line for Cruise

SPOILERS for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT. The latest film in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise was released last week to critical and commercial success, quite the feat for the sixth film in a series which just seems to be getting better and better. In what was a first for the series, ROGUE NATION director Christopher McQuarrie returned to helm FALLOUT, but the director told THR that it wasn't easy to make the decision to return. One concern which McQuarrie had was that fans had come to expect a different director for each installment of the franchise, but Tom Cruise was adamant that McQuarrie take the gig and he eventually accepted, with one condition.

I said that I would do it, but I’m going to come back on the condition that I’m a different director, because I wanted this to be a very different movie. That’s when we first had the conversation about it being a more emotional movie — a little less fun and a little less flip than Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation. It was also discussed that it be darker, more emotional and more about Ethan as a character. That was very calculated because it’s not the sort of a movie I had just delivered, and it was going to go a long way towards creating the impression of a different filmmaker.

Part of the story of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT found Ethan Hunt (Cruise) assuming the identity of John Lark, a mysterious villain seeking to purchase three plutonium cores. Initially, that plot-line was going to be a much larger part of the film. "Ethan ends up having to assume Lark’s identity without the mask. That was gonna be the plot of the whole movie: Ethan assumes the villain’s identity, but looks like himself. And, he must go on convincing people that he is the villain which forces Ethan to have to do darker and more horrible things in pursuit of his aim, the first of which was breaking Lane out of prison. That was eventually going to take Ethan down a very dark path, all of which Tom really embraced, and which I pursued for a very long time," McQuarrie said. "But, in clinging to that idea, I realized that the movie was not moving forward. It was becoming more about that idea as well as much more intellectual. It was happening at the expense of all the other characters, and the movie was just getting very long before getting back to the things you’re obligated to do in a Mission: Impossible. So, I let it go, and as soon as I let it go, the whole England segment of the movie came together." Although FALLOUT toys with it, Ethan never had to make the "hard choice" and actually kill innocent bystanders in order to maintain his cover, and although Christopher McQuarrie wouldn't give a definite answer, he would say that he had written a scene which took Ethan Hunt to a very dark place.

I will say that I wrote a scene that took Ethan to a very dark place, and when I pitched it to Tom, he said, “Well, how about this?” Tom took the scene even darker, and I was quite surprised. I said, “Do you really want to go there with Ethan?” Tom replied, “If we’re going to go for it, let’s go for it.” So, it taught me something in terms of the boundaries of this character and the boundaries this franchise are even more limitless than I thought.

The official synopsis for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT:

The best intentions often come back to haunt you.  Mission: Impossible – Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.  Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT is now playing in theaters. Also, be sure to check out reviews from our own Chris Bumbray and JimmyO, and let us know what you thought of the film!

 

Source: THR

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