Christopher McQuarrie reveals massive plotline cut from Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is f***ing amazing
We’re not going to start an argument about which Mission: Impossible film is best. They are all great, and they all have their charms (also, part four is the best).
But what matters is that part six, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, is out in cinemas now, and it is *amazing*. Like, it is genuinely one of the best straight-up action movies Hollywood has produced in years. Seriously. It is so fast-paced and tight, and all the stunts are jaw-dropping. And you need to see it ASAP.
A big part of it is down to director Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed the previos film in the series, and also worked with Tom Cruise on most of his good recent movies, including Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow.
In a big interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McQuarrie revealed a plotline that was ultimately dropped – and it could have made the film very different.
(SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON)
Because the film is all about the stunts, they started with a script that was just 33 pages long (normal movie scripts are around 100 pages). This allowed them to be flexible with the story, and add and drop plotlines as they went.
Early in the film, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has to assume the identity of John Lark, a deceased member of the evil Apostles cult. At a few points, it looks like he might have to harm innocent people to keep his cover, but because he’s Tom Cruise, he finds a way out of it.
However, McQuarrie says the original plan was for Hunt to keep the Lark identity for much longer, and go in a much darker direction.
Ethan ends up having to assume Lark’s identity without the mask. That was gonna be the plot of the whole movie: Ethan assumes the villain’s identity, but looks like himself. And, he must go on convincing people that he is the villain, which forces Ethan to have to do darker and more horrible things in pursuit of his aim, the first of which was breaking Lane out of prison. That was eventually going to take Ethan down a very dark path, all of which Tom really embraced, and which I pursued for a very long time.
But ultimately, it wasn’t right for the film.
But, in clinging to that idea, I realized that the movie was not moving forward. It was becoming more about that idea as well as much more intellectual. It was happening at the expense of all the other characters, and the movie was just getting very long before getting back to the things you’re obligated to do in a Mission: Impossible.
The plotline ended up being replaced with the footchase through London – which is definitely one of the film’s highlights.