Brad Bird Says He’s Unlikely to Return for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5; Talks About Changing GHOST PROTOCOL’s Ending During Filming

     April 16, 2012


Though we weren’t exactly lacking in popcorn movies last year, one of the most fun times I had in a movie theater in 2011 was most certainly Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolBrad Bird, director of The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, made his live-action debut in a big way with the crowd pleasing fourth entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise.  What’s not to love about Tom Cruise playing out a death defying action sequence thousands of feet in the sky on a giant IMAX screen?  Given that a different director has helmed each film in the franchise, most weren’t exactly expecting Bird to return for the next installment.  The director has now, unsurprisingly, confirmed that he’s unlikely to helm Mission: Impossible 5, but he also revealed that they changed the film’s ending during the middle of production.

Hit the jump to see what he had to say, but beware of obvious spoilers for the ending of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

First up, here’s what Bird had to say when asked if he would be returning for Mission: Impossible 5 during an interview with Crave Online:

“No, I think that one of the things that’s fun about the series is that they always pull in a different director and try to get a different kind of take on the premise. I’d probably be open to looking at it, but I think that part of one of the successes of the franchises is that they’re always reassessing it with a new director.”

Though I’d love nothing more than to see Bird take another stab at the Mission: Impossible universe, he’s ultimately right in that what makes the series fun is that each movie has a completely different feel borne out of the director’s vision.

During the course of the interview, Bird revealed that they filmed much of Ghost Protocol with the assumption that Michelle Monaghan’s character (Ethan Hunt’s wife at the end of Mission: Impossible III) had died:

“Well, we were well into the film thinking that she had been killed, and filmed quite a bit of the film thinking that she wasn’t around, and we just kept thinking that that kind of cast the previous movie in a negative light because it’s kind of like all that stuff that he went through to keep her alive in the last one didn’t ultimately amount to anything.”

Bird notes that Simon Pegg used Alien 3 as an argument in favor of keeping Monaghan’s character alive:

“Simon Pegg mentioned that it was kind of like the feeling that you had about Aliens after seeing Alien 3, where she goes through unbelievable hell to save a couple of people, and then both of them died before the third movie.”

Though the very last moment of Ghost Protocol does feel a little stunted, the reasoning behind Bird and Cruise’s decision is sound.  Nevertheless, Bird crafted a killer of a live-action debut and I can’t wait to see what kind of film project he decides to tackle next.

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  • Romsy

    Simon Pegg to the rescue!!!

  • Rohan

    I think he’s going to make a film about the historical San Francisco earthquake.

    • interestinggg

      1908 has been in pre production for about a decade now with the creative minds over at Pixar. When Bird succeeded with MI4 the prospects of getting another life action film looked good. But, with the failure of John Carter and the other live action Pixar branching out, Disney may be wary of greenlighting a period piece like 1908.

  • Brian

    Simon Pegg is a legend! I have been saying that for years about alien3. That was the first big mistake in
    that franchise and it was all down hill thereafter. No surprises it was Simon Pegg that suggested that change, he also spotted that the Star Wars trilogy could have never have happened if the gunner shot the escape pod destroying the two droids at the start A New Hope!

    • Dan

      You’re totally right. Aliens was such an amazing movie and you’re soooo invested in the characters and happy they survive. Then Alien 3 kicks in and you’re like wait seriously?

  • henrieta

    come on people they had to do it-dont be that stupid.
    alien 3 came 6 years after aliens and carrie henn grew up by then.and since they were not getting older while beeing in their sleep it was impossible to bring her back.what else could have they done??
    only other way would be to not do alien 3 at all…

    • Dan

      Or they could have done anything else. Recast or (which I wouldn’t have wanted) or they could have landed somewhere else, aged 6 years, and then the movie could have began then….

      • pooper

        lol who’s stupid now Henrieta?

  • RIC

    It’s a shame. I thought his previous experience with the incredibles lent perfectly into Ghost Protocol, giving it the optimum amount of comedy that never ruined the intensity of the action. It was lacking in MI3 (still a very enjoyable film in it’s own right) but came out ever so nicely in 4. Either way, count me in for the next installment.

  • Dev1359

    Nooooooooo…I’m a huge MI fan and thought Ghost Protocol was the best one yet. Was really hoping Bird would be on board for the next movie…oh well :\

  • Guns Of Navarone

    While we’re on the subject of Alien 3, I might just add that yes Pegg has a good point but I think the thing that people are missing is that despite “going through hell to save them”, they died in stasis in the EEV. So… although they did die, Ripley saved them from the horror of dying from the aliens i.e. they were not conscious of the fact of dying.

    It would have been nice to have Hicks on Fury 161 but I still like the general atmosphere of the film. She is very alone again and has to be the strong leading female outwitting the creature without the convenience of weapons. The cast was pretty well rounded. If Hicks had been there, there wouldn’t have been the sense of vulnerability that she has amongst the hardened crims.

  • A

    That whole ending was a drag actually the movie came to a dead stop and I was like is it over already? Loved it until then though..

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