The Mission: Impossible franchise is gearing up to begin shooting its sixth installment and director Christopher McQuarrie has given us a few hints on the direction he intends to take the series. Speaking on the Empire Podcast, McQuarrie sounded over the moon about pre-production work, excitedly informing us that “it’s going great!” before dropping the intriguing promise that we’re going to see a “very different Ethan Hunt.”
He went on to explain:
“I’ve seen five of these movies and I don’t know who Ethan Hunt is. One movie sort of dealt with his personal life; the other movies are about people speculating what’s really going on in Ethan’s head. I want to know who Ethan is in this movie, I want an emotional journey for this character, and Tom really embraced it. I don’t want to string together a bunch of action scenes, I want to actually deal with character.“
No doubt this is in response to the leagues of diehard Mission: Impossible fans who have gotten tired of watching Tom Cruise jumping off exploding motorcycles, exploding cars and exploding buildings and are craving a more arthouse approach to the franchise.
After reading the director’s remarks here, I began to imagine a low budget character piece showing IMF Agent Ethan Hunt grappling with the slow breakdown of another relationship, or maybe just quietly dealing with the existential ennui of having to infiltrate yet another high-security building. But sadly, McQuarrie soon qualified his comments:
“So I put Ethan in a bunch of complicated moral quandaries, and I’m trying to find ways to connect them – and then, ironically, the way to connect them was through giant action scenes! [In fact] I may have found something today. 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.”
So, it seems audiences will have to wait a little longer to really explore the inner world of complex super-spy Ethan Hunt in favor of watching Tom Cruise fall off things, again.