Before Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation even hit theaters, a sixth installment of the series was already said to be in development. Now, with the fifth film opening higher than expected over the weekend, giving Tom Cruise one of his best box office debuts and also one of the best-reviewed movies of his career, Paramount has made it official. Mission: Impossible 6 will reportedly shoot as early as next summer.
That’s about all we know so far, however. Cruise will return, of course, and we can presume so will Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner. Hopefully Alec Baldwin will be back as the head of the CIA, especially given the way Rogue Nation ends. Oh, and we might know of one Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-esque stunt that Cruise might take on for the sequel, too.
As for the rest, maybe it’ll be more of the same (see the M:I franchise Honest Trailer to see just how much of a repeat the series is), or ironically the financial success of the latest might inspire a departure from tradition. Either way, below are three wishes I have for the next one, in case Cruise and the studio (or a genie) are listening.
1. Don’t Bring Back Rebecca Ferguson (or Christopher McQuarrie)
Yeah, sorry. Sometimes you have to let go of the things you love, so that they may flourish somewhere else. But this wish isn’t so much about wanting to see actress Rebecca Ferguson graduate to bigger and better things (she’s going to be a huge star) and for director Christopher McQuarrie to simply do other great things. It’s purely about continuing the basics of the series. Bringing them back would be the same as not having a single mask reveal or death-defying stunt in the whole movie.
There should always be a new director and a new female lead, even if we’ve now found one of each that we like the best (we said the same thing about Brad Bird and Paula Patton, didn’t we?). Maybe McQuarrie at least could deliver another fine installment, but we’ll never know what a, say, James Mangold or Doug Liman M:I movie would look like. As for Ferguson, who knows what having more Ilsa Faust would do to dim her brilliance in Rogue Nation?
Maybe one day all the women of the M:I movies can return at once for some reason – Patton and Michele Monaghan were apparently supposed to be in Rogue Nation – and if that must ever happen, then they can also bring back Ferguson, Thandie Newton and even Emmanuelle Beart (hey, we thought she was dead before, too). And then have the new villain murder them all in front of Ethan Hunt (Cruise).
2. A More Famous Landmark Stunt Set Piece
It makes sense that a film franchise that began with Brian De Palma as a director has somewhat maintained a debt to Alfred Hitchcock. The first movie gave us a nod to Strangers On a Train, the first sequel was pretty much all a remake of Notorious and even if McQuarrie insists he didn’t mean to pay tribute to The Man Who Knew Too Much with Rogue Nation’s Vienna Opera House sequence, it still fits in as such. The sixth installment needs to go full Hitch.
I don’t mean in the way Mission: Impossible 2 did. I mean that there should be a climactic fight scene at some major world landmark. The stunt on the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol is close, but it wasn’t at the end nor did it pit Ethan against his adversary there for added suspense. Maybe the next movie can even use a recognizable monument with a face on it, a la The Statue of Liberty in Saboteur and Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest. the Great Sphinx maybe?
The main conflict with this idea is that no such monument will ever give Cruise and his crew the permission for the star to perform the stunt on the actual site. What if they caused even more of the Spinx’s facial features to break off? I think any landmark’s authorities would be less concerned about Cruise dying during said stunt than the landmark being damaged in any way. That’s a shame, as I’d also love to see Cruise take up funambulism and personally perform an actual tightrope action sequence between the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
3. The Biggest Stunt of All Time: In Space
Cruise is really making a mark in the history of actors performing their own stunts, even if they’re not nearly as clever as Buster Keaton’s or truly as dangerous as some of Jackie Chan’s. That’s why for M:I 6 he needs boldly go where no stunt man has gone before: space. I confess “go to space” is my favorite wish for any franchise, even if Moonwalker, Airplane II: the Sequel, Jason X and Leprechaun 4: In Space are all terrible movies. Eventually one will do it right.
And you know it will be the Fast and the Furious franchise if Mission: Impossible doesn’t go there first. And they won’t even literally go to space like Cruise likely would for the sake of his franchise’s integrity. Now, understandably the cost of putting Cruise into space is too high for a franchise that doesn’t come close enough to doing billion-dollar business (ironically, Fast and the Furious now surpasses that amount), but if they can somehow thrill us with a safe-enough outer space stunt (after also hopefully letting fans follow its filming as it’s happening 100 miles above them) then it could manage that kind of box office milestone.
What else are they going to do, after all? Rogue Nation strapped Cruise to a plane as it took off and reached an altitude of more than a mile above the Earth. Then he held his breath for an extended period. The logical next step is to put him in a place higher above the Earth where there’s also no breathable oxygen (but they shouldn’t have him hold his breath in space). But then I don’t know what they can do next, for an encore to that. Maybe this can be saved for whenever Cruise decides the series is over. He can join a rocket headed to the ISS and then when he gets there just literally drop a microphone out a hatch.