After looking like it would flame out after its first installment, the Mission: Impossible movies have surprisingly grown into one of the best action franchises today. The drawback is that you have to keep topping yourself every time, but director Christopher McQuarrie sounds like he has an interesting approach for Mission: Impossible 6.
For starters, unlike the last two installments, the new movie won’t open with a set piece. “It starts in a very unconventional way,” he explained to Empire. “It does not start with action. That was the hardest pitch of this movie.” I think that’s a welcome change of pace, especially when you consider what McQuarrie wants to do with the sequel:
“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.”
His approach this time, then, was to say “‘I don’t want to string together a bunch of action scenes, I want to actually deal with character’. 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.”
It’s a little surprising that we’ve had five of these movies and Hunt is still a cipher, but we kind of just went with it because the action was terrific, the supporting characters were endearing, and we like seeing Tom Cruise do crazy stunts. But it sounds like Mission: Impossible 6 will be the first film to give Hunt a character arc and defined personality, which should be fun to see.
While we don’t know the full cast yet, McQuarrie confirmed that Rebecca Ferguson would return alongside Cruise plus some old faces “including people you would not expect to be back.” Maybe they can bring back Thandie Newton and give her a character who’s not awful. That would be nice.
Mission: Impossible 6 is currently set to open on July 27, 2018.