Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie revealed that the conclusion of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was a topic of great concern for star Tom Cruise during production. According to McQuarrie in a recent interview with Total Film magazine, Cruise literally lost sleep over it, upset over the possibility of a cliffhanger ending.
“Where we ended the movie was always where we were going to end it,” McQuarrie said. “How we ended the movie was a big, big mystery for us. It kept Tom awake at night throughout production. He would come in all the time and say, ‘This can’t be a cliffhanger, it’s got to be satisfying.’ The audience has to feel a sense of completion.”
As a result, McQuarrie and Cruise constantly revisited and refined the ending, paying attention to every detail to ensure it was both fulfilling and not open-ended. Unlike other recent split movies, such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which left audiences on a massive cliffhanger, Dead Reckoning Part One offers a more definitive conclusion.
Warning: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One spoilers ahead.
At the end of Mission Impossible 7, Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, achieves his immediate goal by securing the key to unlock the source code of The Entity, the film’s villainous AI program. Additionally, Hayley Atwell’s character, Grace, accepts an offer to join the Impossible Missions Force. While there are lingering plot threads that Part Two will address, including the survival of Esai Morales’ character, Gabriel, the film still brings one mission to a conclusive end.
McQuarrie explained, “If you leave it with a cliffhanger, it feels a little bit like we’re expecting you to come back. We didn’t want that feeling. The feeling we were reaching for–and we hope you feel–is we dare you not to come back. We want to leave you thinking, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to see what happens next.'”
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is currently playing in theaters nationwide, released by Paramount Pictures. Fans can look forward to the release of Part Two on June 28, 2024.
Check out our review roundup of Mission Impossible 7.
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