Christopher McQuarrie, the director of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. Considered the possibility of de-aging Tom Cruise for an alternate opening sequence set in the ’80s. Initially, the film toyed with the idea of featuring a de-aged lead star in its opening, resembling the Dial of Destiny concept. However, McQuarrie ultimately decided against it due to inconsistent results and personal distraction caused by seeing a younger version of the character.
McQuarrie shared insights into the abandoned concept, stating, “Originally, there was a planned sequence at the beginning of the movie, set in 1989. We discussed it as a potential cold open or flashbacks within the film. We even explored the option of de-aging.” During his research on de-aging techniques. McQuarrie noticed varying levels of success but found himself unable to fully engage with the story. He explained, “While examining the de-aging process, I often found myself commenting on its effectiveness or lack thereof. However, I couldn’t immerse myself in the narrative as I was constantly preoccupied by an actor I had known for so long now appearing as a younger person.”
The Mission: Impossible franchise takes pride in its commitment to authenticity. The team prioritized practical filmmaking in the latest installment, which involved highly dangerous stunts. These stunts included a fight atop a real moving train constructed from scratch and a motorcycle cliff jump filmed on the first day to mitigate the risk of fatalities.
Although the focus of the film is on practical stunts rather than heavy visual effects. McQuarrie remains open to the possibility of utilizing visual effects and revisiting the de-aging process in the future. He mentioned, “I believe I’ve cracked the code on how to approach it effectively. However, by the time I made progress, we had already moved away from the concept. Nonetheless, it’s not entirely off the table, and we may still explore it. Never say never.”
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is currently screening in theaters. Serving as the first half of an overarching story that sets the stage for the sequel. The two-part movie reportedly acts as a farewell to Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, with Part Two scheduled to release on June 28, 2024.