In a rare occurrence, Christopher McQuarrie found himself both celebrated and surprised during the worldwide premiere of the latest installment in the exhilarating Mission: Impossible action franchise, titled “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.” Speaking with FilmSweep’s Steve Weintraub at the premiere in Rome, McQuarrie expressed his astonishment at being allowed back into the city and the country after the chaotic events involving Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, and the iconic yellow Fiat 500 named Trixie.
Despite the mayhem, McQuarrie hoped that the thrilling action sequences showcased the city’s beauty, even if they were captured in a blur. When asked about his return to Rome, McQuarrie humorously admitted, “Just a little, yes. Things got a little out of hand, but we’re always very, very careful, and we’re always here to celebrate the culture and the places that we visit, and I think they took it in the spirit it was intended — I hope!”
Weintraub also brought up the reports suggesting that McQuarrie might not return after the success of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” only to have the director surprise everyone by signing on for not one, but two sequels. McQuarrie confirmed that while reflecting on his work on the previous two Mission films, they realized the need to provide the characters with more depth and emotion. However, achieving that level of storytelling was impossible within the time constraints of a single film, even if it resulted in a longer runtime.
By introducing characters like Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, an equal to Ethan Hunt in every way, and Vanessa Kirby’s enigmatic Alana Mitsopolis, aka The White Widow, the production team recognized the need to spend more time with these compelling new additions. This decision compelled them to allow the story to expand by splitting it into two films.
“Well, we knew with Fallout. Fallout really grew because of all the character and emotion we were putting into the story, all the things that we had discovered in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ that were so unexpected,” explained McQuarrie. “I knew I wanted to expand the cast, and I knew I wanted to give each one of those characters more to do, so I knew the movie was going to be bigger and longer than Fallout.”
He further elaborated, “And at which point I said, ‘Why are we fighting this? Why are we going to try to jam this into two hours? Let’s just break it in half and make it two movies.’ That really was the rationale behind it being a two-part movie. It wasn’t just that the story was bigger; we also wanted more emotion in the movie.”
To execute this ambitious vision, McQuarrie approached Paramount Pictures and negotiated a two-for-one deal, knowing that they would require additional support. Fortunately, the studio shared their excitement for the idea, even though it meant a demanding shoot during a global pandemic, challenging days, and a lead actor who made sure the director never forgot whose idea it was when the shooting days extended. McQuarrie recalled, “At that time, the studio were actually very genuinely excited about it. And, you know, I think we were excited about it too. And then there were times when we were on set, and Tom would look at me, and he’d say, ‘This was your idea. Just remember that.'”
Handling the logistics of shooting two films presented immense challenges. Shooting chronologically became impractical since locations from one film had to be used in the other. This meant dealing with unforeseen obstacles like adverse weather, scheduling conflicts, and even situations like Tom Cruise breaking his foot during the filming of “Fallout.”
McQuarrie openly admitted that he hasn’t yet finalized the ending for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two,” which added another layer of difficulty. Despite these complexities, witnessing the finished product of Part One would dispel any initial concerns. McQuarrie expressed his admiration for the team’s greatness and the cast’s patience, stating, “It’s massive, and it was complicated by the fact that certain things in Part Two required stopping Part One to shoot them, whether it was because of weather or actor availability. With all the other challenges that confronted this movie, there was the challenge of stopping in the middle, not even knowing what the full movie was, and trying to predict what it was in the second film. It’s a testament to how great this team is and how patient this cast is. It’s really something.”
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” is set to hit theaters on July 12, 2023, followed by “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two” on June 28, 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning
Why did Christopher McQuarrie decide to split ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ into two movies?
Christopher McQuarrie made the decision to split the film into two parts to provide the characters with more depth and emotion. By expanding the cast and giving each character more to do, the story became bigger and longer, making it impossible to fit into a single film. Splitting it into two movies allowed for a more immersive and fulfilling experience for the audience.
How did the production team handle the challenges of shooting two films?
Shooting two films presented logistical challenges, such as using locations from one film in the other and dealing with unforeseen factors like adverse weather and scheduling conflicts. They had to adapt and make adjustments during the production process, often halting one film to shoot scenes required for the other. The team demonstrated great professionalism and the cast showed remarkable patience in overcoming these challenges.
What role did Paramount Pictures play in the decision to split the film?
Paramount Pictures supported Christopher McQuarrie’s vision of splitting the film into two parts. Recognizing the potential for a larger story and enhanced emotional impact, the studio was genuinely excited about the idea. They collaborated closely with the production team to make the two-part movie a reality, even during a challenging global pandemic and demanding shooting schedules.
When can we expect to see the two parts of ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’?
The first part, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” is scheduled to release on July 12, 2023. The second part, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two,” will follow on June 28, 2024. Fans can look forward to experiencing the continuation of the thrilling Mission: Impossible franchise across these two highly anticipated films.