Director Christopher McQuarrie Considered De-Aging for Mission: Impossible

Director Christopher McQuarrie revealed that he contemplated de-aging actor Tom Cruise in the opening sequence of the upcoming film Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. While many viewers marvel at Cruise’s ageless appearance in his films, McQuarrie toyed with the idea of utilizing de-aging technology to turn back the clock on Cruise’s character.

The inspiration for this concept came from the recent Indiana Jones film, where 81-year-old Harrison Ford underwent a digital transformation to appear younger. However, at 61, Cruise was not yet in need of such measures. Nevertheless, the proposed sequence would have been set over 30 years ago, requiring the use of de-aging technology.

McQuarrie explained in an interview with GamesRadar that he ultimately decided against de-aging Cruise due to inconsistent results and the distraction caused by seeing a younger version of the iconic Ethan Hunt character.

The director elaborated, stating, “Originally, we had planned a whole sequence at the beginning of the movie set in 1989. We considered using it as a cold open or incorporating flashbacks throughout the film. We explored de-aging as an option. However, during my research, I found myself more focused on the effectiveness of the de-aging rather than the story itself. Witnessing an actor I had known for so long transformed into a young person became a major distraction.”

Although de-aging didn’t fit the vision for this particular film, McQuarrie expressed openness to revisiting the concept in the future. He believes he has cracked the code on how to approach it effectively, but for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, the idea was abandoned as the production had moved away from it. Nevertheless, he concluded by saying, “We may still play with it. We never say never.”

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