In just over a month, we will witness the release of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, a film that has endured a long journey filled with challenges such as the pandemic, health and safety breaches, and daring stunts. Fortunately, the film’s lead actor managed to avoid any broken bones this time. The road to completion has been arduous, with the final scene only being shot six weeks ago, as revealed by Christopher McQuarrie, the director, in an interview with Empire Magazine.
Ahead of the movie’s final test screening, McQuarrie, along with the star and producer Tom Cruise, gathered with the rest of the crew at Longcross Studios to film a crucial last scene that had been hastily written. This scene aimed to resolve a minor hiccup in the film’s plot. To achieve this, a new character needed to be introduced, leading to the search for one final actor. The casting director returned with several headshots, but one name stood out from the rest – Alex James Phelps, a television actor renowned for his work on the British soap EastEnders.
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Jim Phelps? That name seems perfectly suited for Mission: Impossible. To McQuarrie, it felt like destiny. “A. Jim Phelps,” McQuarrie said with a chuckle, appreciating the serendipity of it all. Phelps was ultimately chosen for the role. As for Cruise, did this hold any positive significance? “How great is that? I’m not superstitious, but I’ll take it! I believe we create our own luck, you know? But it can’t hurt.”
Image via Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise Narrowly Escapes Danger in Latest Teaser for ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’
Who Was Jim Phelps in the Mission: Impossible Series?
Jim Phelps was the equivalent of Ethan Hunt in the original Mission: Impossible series. Peter Graves portrayed the character in the television series that aired from 1966 to 1973. Jim Phelps served as the leader of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), a clandestine operations team, and was known for his strategic acumen and leadership abilities. However, when the series was adapted into a feature film in 1996, controversy surrounded the portrayal of the character.
In the film, Phelps (now played by Jon Voight) is initially depicted as the leader of the IMF. However, during the ill-fated mission in Prague, Phelps and most of the IMF team appear to be killed. Later, it is revealed that he has betrayed his team and has been collaborating with an arms dealer named Max (portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave).
This twist, making Phelps the antagonist, deviated significantly from the established character, which upset fans who held a strong attachment to the original portrayal. Nevertheless, while the decision created controversy among some fans, it also breathed new life into the franchise by introducing a fresh storyline and providing a different perspective on the characters. Over time, the Mission: Impossible film series has carved its own distinct identity and achieved great success.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One hits theaters on July 12, 2023. The sequel, Dead Reckoning Part Two, is scheduled for release on June 28, 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about mission impossible series
What is the connection between the ‘Dead Reckoning’ actor and the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ series?
The connection lies in the casting of an actor named Alex James Phelps, who had previously worked on the British soap EastEnders. His name, “Jim Phelps,” coincidentally matches the name of a prominent character from the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ series.
Who was Jim Phelps in the Mission: Impossible series?
Jim Phelps was the leader of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) in the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ television series. He was portrayed by Peter Graves from 1966 to 1973. However, when the series was adapted into a feature film in 1996, there was controversy surrounding the portrayal of the character.
What controversy surrounded the character of Jim Phelps in the film adaptation?
In the film adaptation, Jim Phelps, played by Jon Voight, was initially depicted as the leader of the IMF. However, it is revealed that he had turned against his team and was collaborating with an arms dealer named Max. This twist in the character’s storyline deviated from the established portrayal in the original series, which caused upset among fans who had a strong attachment to the character.
How has the Mission: Impossible film series evolved over time?
While the controversial portrayal of Jim Phelps caused a stir among fans, it also brought a fresh storyline and a different perspective to the franchise. Over time, the Mission: Impossible film series has established its own distinct identity, separate from the original series, and has become highly successful in its own right.