One of the things that has made the “Mission: Impossible” series so interesting so far has been the way they've used a different director each time, bringing a different sensibility to each entry in the series while playing with the rotating ensemble cast, Tom Cruise always at the center of the thing.
That's about to change, though. This morning, Christopher McQuarrie tweeted the very simple phrase, “Mission: Accepted.” That is exciting news on several fronts, but mainly it's exciting because McQuarrie and Cruise have been developing this great creative chemistry for a while now, and anything that continues that has a chance of being good for all parties involved.
McQuarrie is having one of the best second acts of anyone in town at the moment, and he deserves it. He's a smart writer who has a nice way with the big gesture, and there's a reason “The Usual Suspects” was as much of a calling card for him as it was for Bryan Singer. The script was a technical marvel, and it demonstrated a lot of different skills. I'm a fan of “The Way Of The Gun,” and it was genuinely confounding as a fan to then wait eight years for another film from McQuarrie, and then “only” as a writer. Watching him return to Singer felt like he'd been demoted, and I didn't love the film. But it connected him to Cruise, and while I don't think “Jack Reacher” is the definitive adaptation of the character to the big screen, it's a lot of fun to watch. McQuarrie understood what qualities that define Cruise could be used to make Reacher work, and it's a canny bit of movie star reverse engineering.
I've written at length about my fondness for “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” which just showed up on Blu-ray here at the house, and I think McQuarrie deserves extra credit for casting Rebecca Ferguson, who felt like this great big thrilling discovery. I'm curious to see if she's going to return for the sixth film in the series, or if there will be a new female lead. Either way, I think it would make sense. That's part of what's made “Mission: Impossible” such a durable franchise, that elasticity, and breaking the “one and done” rule seems like exactly the sort of decision that keeps things interesting.
“Mission: Impossible 6” should be in theaters sometime in 2017.
In the meantime, you can pick up “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” from the Film Nerd 2.0 Amazon Store.