Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol surprised everyone upon its release. Not only did it end up grossing almost $700 million worldwide, but it signalled a real comeback for Tom Cruise and is arguably the best entry in a franchise that audiences have had a mixed relationship with. Cruise’s baby has taken a refreshing approach for most blockbuster series’, in that every entry actually takes its time. Rather than churning out crud every few years to capitalise on interest, a new director with a new vision is hired every time, and we always have a healthy break of 4 to 6 years between films- Cruise’s Ethan Hunt significantly matures and the whole thing never feels stale.
It was suggested for a while after the fourth movie’s massive success that Brad Bird would return. Luckily, cooler heads and Tomorrowland prevailed, and as well as a new director yet to be announced, Paramount took the wise decision to hire Hollywood’s hottest new screenwriter and jolly nice chap Drew Pearce. Pearce was behind this year’s highest-grossing and most enjoyable blockbuster, Iron Man 3. Madcap, smart and funny as hell, Pearce’s writing was one of the biggest factors behind Tony Stark’s best outing to date.
Pearce discussed his approach for the sequel with me to an extent, but due to the fact he’d only just started work on it that week and he’s shielded by that renowned secret-keeper J. J. Abrams, there was little to be said on the matter, so at this point in time what happens in the fifth entry is anyone’s guess.
So let’s have some fun- Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read on for my speculations about what Hunt and his team might get up to the next time they’re onscreen…
5. A Continuation Of Ghost Protocol
The most conventional route to take- but when has this series, or its new screenwriter, ever been conventional? Hunt, Brandt, Jane Carter and Benji are a fully formed team now, and if the next film takes on the form of a big-budget extended episode of the old show, this could actually be a lot of fun. Rather than have the team being hunted down, they could just go on a conventional mission and the audience could have a hell of a lot of fun just watching a self-contained adventure.
Depending on the strength of director hired (this writer is still praying that the rumours are true and Christopher McQuarrie is onboard, and his other projects are put on the backburner), this might actually be the best option for the sequel to take. No set-ups for future instalments or a big overbearing arch, just a fast-paced, slick thrillride. The last film was basically a live-action cartoon, given that Brad “Pixar maverick” Bird was in charge, with an unbelievably kinetic energy to every insane setpiece.
Rather than taking the generic Hollywood route of making everything dark and gritty, we could have a lighter touch to proceeding with firecracker wit. The team is strong and we could develop their dynamics rather than make it all about Ethan. It was this approach that made Ghost Protocol so successful, so if it ain’t broke, perhaps it doesn’t need to be fixed?
2. Julia Meade Returns To The Fore
Upon the first viewing of Ghost Protocol, I genuinely thought that Michelle Monaghan’s Julia Meade, AKA Mrs. Hunt, was completely out of the picture. So imagine my delight when both she and Ving Rhames returned at the end. Mission: Impossible may be moving on, but it hasn’t forgotten characters that are so essential in Ethan’s life.
Michelle Monaghan is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actresses. So I’d love her to return not only because, hey, it’s Michelle Monaghan!, but also because it brings more dramatic potential to the fifth film that hasn’t really been seen in the series so far. Ethan’s missus was put in jeaopardy in the third film, so he faked her murder in the fourth one in order to keep here safe. He misses her, but she is safe.
So what if he is forced to take her with him on a mission for some reason? He has to keep her safe, but we can develop the dynamic that we didn’t see enough of in M:I 3. It gives us some comic potential, a chance for solid emotional development, and maybe we get to see Julia as a badass who can actually handle herself better than her husband expects.
If Mission: Impossible Five goes down this route, then this gives us a chance to revisit Aaron Paul as Julia’s brother Rick. Forget the rest of the team, Tom Cruise has to team up with someone who is not only his idiotic brother-in-law, but also is Aaron Paul! How is not the greatest idea ever? Ethan Hunt and Jesse Pinkman? I’m sold!
“YEAH! MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, B***H!”
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I just picked my favorite ones so I didn't end up breaking the rules. I'm just so excited for the next movie.