Mission: Impossible Nearly Featured A Huge A-List Cameo – But It Was 'Too Expensive And Distracting'

Tom Cruise is currently back in cinemas as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One.
Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Mike Coppola via Getty Images

The new Mission: Impossible film nearly featured a cameo from a huge A-list star – but the plan was ditched as the scene would have been too “distracting” and expensive.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One is currently in cinemas and sees Tom Cruise return as Ethan Hunt for the seventh time.

Director Christopher McQuarrie previously revealed that he thought about filming a prologue scene set in 1989.

Going into further detail, he’s now revealed in a new interview that he wanted to cast another Hollywood star to play Tom’s love interest in the scene.

He told Empire’s Spoiler Special podcast: “I looked back [to see] who was the ingenue, who was the breakout star in 1989? And right around then was Mystic Pizza.

“And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Julia Roberts, a then-pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts, as this young woman’.”

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

As if de-aging two stars wouldn’t have been difficult enough, the scene Christopher dreamed up also would have featured Mission: Impossible’s Esai Morales and Henry Czerny, who played villain Gabriel and Eugene Kittridge, respectively.

He continued: “And of course, as you’re conceptually going through it, you’re like, ’Now all anybody’s going to be doing is thinking about the de-aging.”

Referencing Dead Reckoning Part One’s train wreck showdown, he added: “I got the bill for de-aging those people before their salaries were even factored into it.

“And if you put two of them in a shot together, or three of them in a shot together, it would have been as expensive as the train by the time we were done.”

Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie at a Mission: Impossible photo call in July
Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie at a Mission: Impossible photo call in July
Lisa Maree Williams via Getty Images

De-aging has been used on a number of high-profile stars in recent years.

Netflix’s Oscar-nominated drama The Irishman and Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian made use of the technology, while the latest Indiana Jones film featured a de-aged Harrison Ford.

Hollywood’s use of AI is a hot topic amid the actors’ strike. The union, which represents everyone from major stars to extras, is asking studios to guarantee AI and computer-generated faces won’t replace real actors.

Productions including the new series of American Horror Story, the Wicked film adaptation and the latest Deadpool movie, are on hold due to the strike.

Filming has also been delayed on many more as writers are on the picket lines too.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One is in cinemas now.


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