[The following story contains spoilers from Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. The below interviews were all conducted at the Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One U.S. premiere in New York on Monday, July 10, prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike.]
In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part OneTom Cruise and his Impossible Missions Force are up against an all-powerful form of artificial intelligence, known as The Entity, which has the ability to manipulate people, weapons, and various defense systems.
In the film, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his team of Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg), Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and newcomer Grace (Hayley Atwell) try to prevent The Entity from falling into the wrong hands, going after various power brokers who want to acquire and control this dangerous technology.
AND Dead Reckoning part one hits theaters at a time of heightened concern about the real threat posed by AI, including in Hollywood, where restrictions on what technology can and cannot be used for in film and television are at the center of ongoing labor disputes between striking writers and actors and the studios and streamers.
speaking to the hollywood reporter in it reckon dead Opening in the United States in New York last week, before SAG-AFTRA went on strike on Thursday, director Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote the script with Erik Jendresen, as well as stars Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson, indicated they were surprised at how the film went from tackling what seemed like a sci-fi threat to dealing with a potentially dangerous technology that is now very much in the public discourse.
“Memory [McQuarrie] talking about it from the beginning, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a really cool sci-fi idea. Mission Impossible It’s always had that sci-fi edge to it, you know, because technology is always so far ahead of where we are. And I felt like this is really on point. This is a smart idea,” Pegg recalled. “Of course, the conversation about AI has been amplified in the time we’ve been making this movie. So it comes out at a time when it’s in the social discourse. So, it feels very timely.”
McQuarrie was aware of the threat posed by “information technology” when he started working at the seventh Mission Impossible delivery in 2018, but admits that he is concerned about how it has evolved.
“It was something that was going from being an abstract idea to being something that people understood,” he said of AI in 2018. “It evolved: I’m a little scared. … Seeing how the film and the technology evolved at the same pace is something else.”
Ferguson admits that while working on the film he didn’t realize that the onscreen adversary would be as real a concern as he now acknowledges.
“Artificial intelligence is obviously something we’re fighting against,” Ferguson said, referring to the writers’ strike and what was then a potential actors’ strike. “And people are afraid. We live in a world where AI is going to merge with our world, and we have to see where we fit and how it works and that it doesn’t just override our jobs.”
Esai Morales, who plays a human adversary in the film, joked that he has a special connection to the AI with the letters “a” and “i” in his name, before saying, in all seriousness, that the technology is ” something we have.” to be very careful.”
“It may be a blessing, but it’s like fire, right? How you use it is everything,” she said.
Dead Reckoning part one also arrives in theaters after a multi-year filming process that took place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cast and crew dealing with at least five shutdowns due to the virus, which both Cruise and McQuarrie contracted.
After the challenges of making the movie, Cruise and company were happy that the movie was finally done and ready to hit theaters.
“It’s a huge relief that we can finally share it with everyone,” Atwell said. THR.
“It was a challenge to make the film, but in some ways the nature of that challenge was channeled into the film itself,” said Pegg. THR. “I feel like our determination to make the movie is reflected in the movie. Tom saw the pandemic as an existential threat to cinema and decided to embrace it and not let it kill us, and I think that was absolutely the right thing to do. We investigated it intelligently and carefully, and we found out how a movie is made in a pandemic.”
Saying it was “surreal” to see his years of work pay off, McQuarrie said: “It was just about focusing on the work that was right in front of you and assuming that one day we’d be standing here talking.” It’s kind of amazing.”
Despite dealing with the contemporary challenges of AI and the pandemic, reckon dead reaches in the Mission Impossible past, bringing back Henry Czerny’s Kittridge for the first time since the first film in 1996, a request the actor said he initially thought “was a joke.”
“I received my first call in 1995, I was in Brazil, they wanted me to go do their Kittridge. AND [this time] I was running my errands in Los Angeles like any middle-class person would, and I got a call from my manager saying they’d like to bring Kittridge back, and I thought it was a joke. Then two days later, I’m talking to Chris McQuarrie about his plan to bring Kittridge back, and we’re going to give him some seriousness, and we’re going to give him a weight of the 25 years he’s spent in Washington, and we want to see that relationship between Ethan and Kittridge. You will do it? What do you say to that?” he recalled, speaking at the July 10 premiere. “Anything short of ‘yes’ with an exclamation point would put you in a madhouse.”
Working with McQuarrie, Czerny experienced the director’s somewhat off-the-cuff approach to filmmaking, which he called “fantastic” but initially “unnerving”.
“I’m used to, you know, you have three takes. We’re going to do a master, a medium, a close-up or some variety, and it’s great when they do that variety. The camera will do half the work for you or most of the work for you,” Czerny said. “With Chris, he allows, he encourages the actor within the scope of the scene to contribute whatever he wants, and he will take care of that in the editing room, and by treat, I mean respect him. He wants it. In fact, he will alter the character arcs depending on what people can bring to the franchise, to the delivery.”
Mission: Impossible 7 is just the first part of a two-film story that will continue with the eighth film in the franchise, Dead Reckoning Part Twowhich had been in production before the actors’ strike.
Looking forward to the eighth film, McQuarrie said, “I can confidently say it’s even crazier,” while Czerny said he was told the next film “will be even better” than the seventh installment.