Ever since the first chords of Lalo Schifrin’s indelible, pulse-pounding score echoed around theaters in ’96, the Mission: Impossible franchise has grown to support a series of recurring tropes. Whether it’s Tom Cruise performing death-defying stunts, or the stunningly realistic face masks, Hollywood’s action staple has undoubtedly become one of the industry’s more bankable tentpoles, and Christopher McQuarrie’s recently released Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation proves that there’s still life in the old dog yet.
Then again, with such a sprawling scope, it was evident that the director would have to clip some footage in order to keep the high-octane action moving along at a break-neck speed – it is Mission: Impossible, after all. And in a recent roundtable interview, McQuarrie revealed that one of these deleted scenes in question revolved around the infamous face masks.
Be warned, herein lies spoilers.
“There was obviously the leftover from Ghost Protocol and we baked in a lot of stuff for fans of the franchise, but we also made a movie that was for the uninitiated. We always said, ‘You have to walk into this movie having never seen a Mission: Impossible movie before.’ Therefore, a guy can’t just pull off a mask. You have to introduce the mask technology and you have to make it part of the reality of this movie. And so that was where the introduction of the mask became obligatory.”
For those of you who have already seen Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, you will know that it was Simon Pegg’s loveable Benji that dreamed of donning the slightly disconcerting technology in the field. Alas, it turns out that his dream was never realized throughout the course of the movie, but one scene that didn’t make the cut did feature Pegg’s agent sporting the face mask, though McQuarrie feared it would err toward repetition.
“All of the elements that made the scene work were also things that led the audience down a path they didn’t want to go and confused them with information they didn’t need. Also by the time you got to the real mask reveal in the movie, you felt the audience saying, ‘There’s just too many of these mask gags in the movie.’”
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has rappelled into cinemas nationwide. For more on McQuarrie’s sequel, check out our review.