Mission: Impossible 6 – Director Teases Greater Emotional Depth, Break from Formula

Director Christopher McQuarrie teases that we'll see more emotional depth and insight to Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 6.

Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible is an interesting franchise. To date, each film has been directed by a different filmmaker with a very different palate and sensibility, creating distinctly unique contexts in which Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt runs like a mad man from explosions. Yet 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is arguably the best of the bunch, which is perhaps why Christopher McQuarrie is the first director to reprise his stint with Cruise on the Impossible Mission Force team. And that’s good news, so is the already confirmed return of Rebecca Ferguson’s beguiling Ilsa Faust.

Now, McQuarrie (who also wrote Rogue Nation) is finally opening up about what to expect from the new film while chatting with Empire. For starters, he confirmed Paris will be a location and revealed that Mission: Impossible 6 will be shooting in the City of Lights starting on April 10.

Intriguingly, however, he teased some changes to formula. For starters, he said do not expect a major action sequence at the beginning of MI6. “It starts in a very unconventional way,” McQuarrie said. “It does not start with action. That was the hardest pitch of this movie.”

Similarly, he hinted that MI6 is intended to be the first in the series to really explore Ethan Hunt as a character. “I’ve seen five of these movies, and I don’t know who Ethan Hunt is. One movie sort of dealt with his personal life; the other movies are about people speculating what’s really going on in Ethan’s head. I want to know who Ethan is in this movie, I want an emotional journey for the character, and Tom really embraced it.” He even promises to place Ethan in “complicated moral quandaries.”—between amazing action sequences, of course.

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He also teased that there would be familiar faces and that he finally has come up with an action sequence that might be able to top the moment which opened Rogue Nation—the one with him dangling off an airplane. McQuarrie wouldn’t reveal what it is, but he did confirm Cruise saw a picture of the intended set-piece and enthusiastically stated, “I want to fall off of that!”

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation speeds into theaters on July 27, 2018.