Apparently, the original ending for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol actually saw Ethan Hunt retire from his role as a field agent and Tom Cruise stepping aside as star.
To many, the Mission: Impossible franchise has gone from strength to strength and it’s almost impossible to think of the series surviving without Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt leading the charge.
Well, according to Ghost Protocol‘s cinematographer Robert Elswit, who recently spoke to the Light the Fuse podcast (via Collider), Christopher McQuarrie’s rewrites kept Hunt from retiring and Tom Cruise as the franchise’s star:
“The original version of Ghost Protocol—most of the people involved probably wouldn’t speak about this, but I can because nobody gives a shit about what I say. The original version of this movie was at the end of it Tom Cruise stops being Ethan Hunt the agent and becomes Ethan Hunt the Secretary. The whole version of this was they were gonna put another IMF Mission unit together with another actor—maybe it’s Jeremy Renner, who knows who it is—and they’re gonna go through this series of wild events, and at the end Tom gets to be the Secretary and a new agent takes over the franchise. Which I think seemed kind of nutty, but that was kind of the marching orders.”
It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it? Thanks to this change in direction, Mission: Impossible has gone from strength to strength, especially with the latest critically acclaimed installment Fallout, which set a box office high for the franchise.