Yes, it’s hard to believe, but it seems that those rumours that were circulating after Mission Impossible 3 under performed were true. It turns out that Tom Cruise did almost stand down from the Mission: Impossible franchise a few movies ago to make way for a new lead. Cinematographer Robert Elswit has revealed what really happened on the ‘Light the Fuse podcast:
“The original version of Ghost Protocol – most of the people involved probably wouldn’t speak about this, but I can because nobody gives a shit about what I say. The original version of this movie was, at the end of it, Tom Cruise stops being Ethan Hunt the agent and becomes Ethan Hunt the Secretary. The whole version of this was they were gonna put another IMF Mission unit together with another actor – maybe it’s Jeremy Renner, who knows who it is – and they were gonna go through this series of wild events. And at the end, Tom gets to be the Secretary and a new agent takes over the franchise. Which I think seemed kind of nutty, but that was kind of the marching orders.”
However, things changed when writer Christopher McQuarrie was brought on board:
“Chris came in and he kind of rewrote it, the last half, maybe more. And made it so that we had to change a few things that we shot at the beginning, like add lines, reshoot little pieces so that it all made sense. He tied the whole thing together and made it so that at the end of the movie, Tom ends up not becoming the Secretary but just goes on in his own lonely way.”
And thank goodness for that I say. Can you imagine Jeremy Renner doing all his own stunts, something which certainly for me is the biggest appeal of this series?