Christopher McQuarrie discusses the reason behind naming Mission: Impossible – Fallout


Tom Cruise debuted on Instagram by revealing the latest Mission: Impossible’s title as Fallout. But what does it mean for Ethan Hunt?

Mission: Impossible means Tom Cruise running away from things, tons of nail-biting sequences, the signature track and a threat that is seemingly unbeatable. However, despite such improbable odds, as Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has consistently defeated a lot of baddies in style, the mere mention of another installment is bound to get fans excited about what he has in store. And with its next entry, Fallout, the illustrious spy is supposed to face off against a threat from his past.

The first three installments of the Mission: Impossible series were chronologically numbered. But things changed after the fourth series as the titles began to signify a key theme or element of the movie. While Ghost Protocol meant IMF’s emergency procedure after it was destroyed, Rogue Nation defined the existence of a mythical organization that was hinted at in Ghost Protocol. However, as the name Fallout isn’t as specific, Empire reached out to director Christopher McQuarrie for some clarifications.

"“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.”"

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Global annihilation has been a running theme in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and Fallout won’t be veering away from that. However, as all the movies have always included an element that’s exclusive to Hunt, the franchise has been able to maintain the balance between large and small-scale consequences. So, even when Julia (Michelle Monaghan) isn’t on-screen, we know that she is acting as a sub-motivation for Hunt’s actions. And going by McQuarrie’s comments, there might be a chance that the act of killing those Serbians to protect Julia’s identity, might bring her to the foreground and personally hurt Hunt.

Will Mission: Impossible 6 follow the trend of subverting franchise-related tropes?

Apart from a handful of original movies, modern day cinema is largely thriving on franchises, and ones that are aiming to be a one-off are receiving the sequel treatment. However, moviegoers have become aware of the quality of entertainment they’re getting in exchange for the money they’re paying. That’s why lazy attempts to continue or build a franchise are being promptly rejected, with The Last Knight, King Arthur and The Mummy being some of the latest victims. But there’s a silver lining.

Hugh Jackman had played Wolverine for over a decade and Logan retired his role by humanizing him through Laura (Dafne Keen) and Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), instead of continuing the bad-ass nature of his character. Blade Runner 2049 took the long running trope of “the chosen one” that’s used in most sci-fi movies, and flipped it on its head through Officer KD9-3.7 (Ryan Gosling). Finally, The Last Jedi subverted everyone’s expectation by destroying the mystery box The Force Awakens had set up, and took the Star Wars lore and its characters in new directions.

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To put it simply, subverting already established tropes helps to maintain the freshness of a franchise and the microcosm it’s set in. While it may be jolting for former fans, if done right, these alterations leave a lasting impression on viewers and even draws in newer fans. So, while it’s exciting to see Cruise do death-defying stunts, given his age, he won’t be able to do so for long. However, as he’s the backbone of the franchise Fallout can pull a twist, or at least lay the foundation for it, that’ll respect his legacy as Hunt and further the future of the Mission: Impossible series.

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Mission: Impossible is one of the most successful franchises, both critically and financially. And thanks to Tom Cruise’s dedication, fans get to view quality action with each installment. With the trailer for Fallout dropping on Sunday, let’s see if it reveals this mysterious threat from Hunt’s past that McQuarrie is talking about and tease some of the mind-blowing stunts that Cruise just loves to do.

What are your thoughts on Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s mysterious threat? Let me know in the comments.