The Mission: Impossible series gets bigger and more dramatic with every film, and now, for the fifth one, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the team are taking the action to another level. Here are 10 things you need to know about the latest adventure of Ethan Hunt and the IMF team. Let the countdown begin...
10. Hunt comes back from the dead
Ethan Hunt dies in the film, but like Bond in Casino Royale is brought back to life. There have been plenty of rumours that this could be Cruise's last M:I (with Jeremy Renner's character, Brandt taking over the lead) but our belief is that he survives to the end. We do know though that an alternative ending was filmed and shot after principal photography was completed, so there could be at least two possible endings.
9. It picks up where the last film ended
Rogue Nation picks up exactly from the end of Ghost Protocol, where Ethan Hunt briefs the IMF about the Syndicate – the shadowy organisation that form the main antagonists of the fifth film. Those who remember the original TV series will know that the Syndicate were the yang to IMF's ying. Highly trained and utterly ruthless, they are a team of assassins and rogue operatives who kill to order, and are the biggest threat to the IMF that we've yet seen.
8. Cruise performs high altitude stunts
As we've previously mentioned, Tom Cruise does hang off the side of an airplane (an Airbus A400m, to be exact) during one of the most dramatic stunts in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation but what you might not know is that the plane climbed to a staggering 1.5 kilometres (5,000 feet). “I was actually scared s**tless,” Cruise said recently. “I was in a harness, on my side, that was kind of loose so you can see the vibration of my body against the plane.” Most impressive fact of all, though? They did eight takes of the scene!
7. There's an even more impressive stunt
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the plane stunt would be the dramatic high point of the film, but as the latest trailer revealed, there's another where Ethan Hunt drops into a tank containing 70,000 gallons of swirling, pressurised water. To do this stunt successfully, Cruise had to train for several weeks so that he would then be able to hold his breath for over six minutes! “I have done a lot of underwater sequences but we wanted to create one without cuts,” says Cruise. “So doing that sequence was really interesting. We’re underwater and we’re doing breath-holds of six to six-and-a-half minutes. It was very taxing stuff.”
6. Cruise narrowly avoided serious injury
Apparently, Tom Cruise was injured a total of six times during the making of Rogue Nation, but it could've easily been seven. During filming in London in December of last year, Cruise narrowly missed getting run over by a double decker bus.
5. Pegg and Ferguson followed Cruise's example
Cruise's daredevil attitude clearly rubbed off on the other members of the cast too, as Simon Pegg reportedly did all his own driving stunt work. Rebecca Ferguson, who's new to the cast as the mysterious Ilsa, scaled the Vienna Opera House in the film, and also did her own underwater stunts. Speaking about the experience, Ferguson said, “When you are with Tom and the team, the best people are brought in to train you, so you are actually capable of managing everything. It’s incredible to know you have the ability to do these things.”
4. It's release date was brought forward to beat Star Wars to the box office
Paramount wanted to initially release the film on Christmas Day this year, but the thought of going head-to-head with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which is released a week earlier) or Spectre (6th November) made the distributors wisely bring it forward to the summer.
3. Paramount beat Disney to the name
There was also a bit of conflict with Disney's decision to call the first of their Star Wars spin-off films, Rogue One. After a bit of a stand-off though, Paramount appeared to win, and Disney are allowed to use the name as long as they don't promote the film in any way until the release of M:I – Rogue Nation.
2. Sean Harris is the most lethal villain yet
In our mind, we believe it would be difficult to top Phillip Seymour-Hoffman's chilling performance as Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III, but Sean Harris – as the rumoured leader of the Syndicate – could well top it. “Sean Harris is incredibly enigmatic and very powerful on screen,” says Cruise. “He’s as powerful a villain as we’ve had in Mission: Impossible, and it really is a chess match between him and Ethan, as he’s on top of Ethan and crushing Ethan the whole movie. The guy is very charming and intelligent but lethal. When we knew Sean was interested we wrote it specifically for him.”
1. Mission: Impossible 6 is on it's way
Mission: Impossible 6 is definitely going to happen, with Paula Patton (Jane from Ghost Protocol) and Maggie Q (Zhen Lei from Mission: Impossible III) rumoured to be returning.
BOOM!!! Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will be showing at a Cineworld near you from 30 July.