Christopher McQuarrie, director of Mission Impossible 7 & 8, reveals the meaning behind the ominous subtitle of two upcoming installments Dead Reckoning. After reviving the franchise with the first film in 1996, the spy franchise has gone on to produce numerous sequels, comic books, television series, and even video games. With a constantly rotating cast of iconic characters, some series staples include the likes of Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby, amongst many more.

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is set to pick up after the events of the previous film and follow Cruise's Ethan Hunt in his penultimate mission as an IMF agent. In past installments, the titles of Mission: Impossible movies have always been carefully chosen to reflect the themes and ultimate plot, acting as almost a teaser to fans. If anything, this title choice clearly chooses to go down a different direction in an attempt to bring the franchise to a potentially historic end.

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In an interview on podcast Light The Fuse, McQuarrie was joined by stars of the upcoming films where they spoke all about this new direction in the beloved action franchise. Specifically, the director went on to explain the reasoning behind the titles of both films, telling listeners that part one initially began as a Ghost Protocol-esque title before changing the two into parts. Throughout the rest of the interview, the roles of both new and returning characters are also explained. Read McQuarrie's words below:

When I came up with the title, I knew it applied more to part 2 than it did to part 1, which is why it eventually settled on being part 1 and part 2. The title for the first movie was nearly… a title that referred to something like a Ghost Protocol kind of thing, it was a government policy – it wasn’t a government policy, it was a government, what would you call it? A government measure of last resort, with catastrophic consequences. By the time we got to the end of part 1, that had distilled down into an entirely different set of circumstances that appear in part 2 and not in part 1. So, the word would no longer have been appropriate for the title of part 1. And yet, Dead reckoning didn’t really apply as well to part 1 as well as it did to part 2, until we started to play with the beginning of the movie, and kind of recognize that Dead Reckoning, while it sounded cool, what did it really have to do with the movie? And over the course of our, really starting to dig down into the arc of the character journey for Ethan, it took on deeper and deeper meanings as we went. And you’ll see just how thematic and how it represents, how it’s conceptually represented in every character’s journey in this film we’re in.

As previously mentioned, many titles of past installments have greatly hinted at the events which take place within the film. For example, Fallout's title not only hinted at the threat of nuclear fallout from a potential war but also saw Ethan deal with the fallout of his past actions. Having both a figurative and literal meaning can hint at what is to come in this latest installment, possibly seeing the lead character's demise.

Having this exact explanation from the director definitely hints at what is to come for Ethan Hunt in his next action-packed adventure. Building from that, it also now leaves audiences in anticipation of what could possibly lie ahead for the franchise as it comes to its epic conclusion. While some have said that the Dead Reckoning two-parter may not be Cruise's last mission as Ethan Hunt, the title Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One certainly hints at life-threatening stakes on a whole new level.

More: Every Martial Art Ethan Hunt Uses In Mission: Impossible Movies

Source: Light The Fuse

Key Release Dates
  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)Release date: Jul 14, 2023
  • Mission: Impossible 8 (2024)Release date: Jun 28, 2024
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