MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5 Halts Production to Find New Ending; UPDATED

     February 20, 2015

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find an ending for a movie that’s opening in five months. That’s the task ahead of Mission: Impossible 5 writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, star/producer Tom Cruise, and Paramount Pictures. While the studio recently moved the film’s release date up from Christmas to July 31st, filming is still underway on London on the action sequel, and production was recently shut down for a week so the team could come up with a satisfactory ending.

THR reports that Mission: Impossible 5’s ending was deemed “unsatisfactory”, and so McQuarrie was given the extra time to work out a new ending with an unnamed writer friend who will be neither credited nor paid for his or her work on the film. While it’s unusual for a big-budget production to shut down just five months before release in order to, you know, come up with an ending, it’s not altogether unfamiliar. Paramount faced similar issues on World War Z and went so far as to write and shoot an entirely new third act after production had wrapped.

mission-impossible-5-christopher-mcquarrie-tom-cruiseMcQuarrie and Cruise even have experience with this, as director Doug Liman’s excellent sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow was constantly undergoing rewrites throughout production. In fact, if you watch the behind-the-scenes footage on the Blu-ray, they say McQuarrie is off somewhere writing the film’s ending while principal photography is already well underway.

All of this to say, I’m not too concerned about the well-being of Mission: Impossible 5. Would it have been better to have a satisfactory ending and end production on time? Sure, but the majority of filming took place while McQuarrie and Co. believed their film was coming out at Christmas. Paramount wouldn’t have moved the date up if they weren’t confident the film could be completed in time, and McQuarrie’s already proven himself to be a talented director with The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher, so I have faith he’s put together something special with Mission: Impossible 5 and I’m actually happy to see that he put his foot down when he found the existing ending lacking. Some filmmakers may have just stuck with it, knowing their ending was bad, but McQuarrie was up to the challenge of coming up with something even better, even if it meant hitting pause on production for a short time.

THR’s report goes so far as to quote one executive who says, with regards to being worried that M:I 5 is behind schedule, “Are you kidding? We made World War Z.” That turned out fine, and I imagine McQuarrie’s film will as well.

With the brief hiatus over and filming back underway on the new ending, McQuarrie took to twitter to acknowledge today’s report:

UPDATE: McQuarrie got a little salty this evening on twitter, seemingly refuting today’s report that there were complications with Mission: Impossible 5‘s scripted ending, and that an “unknown writer” came on board to solve the problem. Whatever the case, McQaurrie seems pretty confident that the film’s finale is just fine.

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