Mission: Impossible 6 is looming closer, and Paramount is ready to start revealing some details about the film. Ahead of the imminent trailer debut, this morning Tom Cruise joined Instagram to reveal a new image and the film’s official title: Mission: Impossible – Fallout. But what does it mean? Is Ethan Hunt radioactive? Is he going down, down in an earlier round? Coming off the terrifically titled Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation there was certainly pressure to keep the streak alive, and now Fallout writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has opened up a bit about this particular title choice.
Speaking with Empire, McQuarrie confirmed that yes indeed, the sixth Mission: Impossible movie deals with the threat of nuclear war:
“The title has multiple meanings in the film, from the literal to the figurative. There is the threat of nuclear terrorism hanging over the movie, which is the literal threat. There’s the notion that what’s happened in the movie is the end result of choices that Ethan Hunt has made in his life. It’s Ethan’s past come back to haunt him. It’s the fallout of all his good intentions.”
McQuarrie marks the first fillmmaker to direct two Mission: Impossible movies, as director Brian De Palma set the tone for the first film, but then Cruise teamed up with a diverse group of directors for the following movies: John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and then finally McQuarrie, with whom Cruise had worked on Jack Reacher as a director and Edge of Tomorrow as a screenwriter.
So in returning for another film, McQuarrie wanted to make sure he was making a very different movie than Rogue Nation, and that extended to the title choice. As it turns out, the one-word title is no coincidence:
“The one thing that came out of it was I thought it should be a one-word title. This is a different kind of movie, it should be expressing a different attitude. It should be striking its own ground, and that’s what I felt Fallout did.” Not to mention, Mission: Impossible — The Last Jedi was not an option. “We were a week late,” he sighs. “We were ready to register the title and they got in there first. That was really a bummer.”
Damn you, Rian Johnson.