While it is Ethan Hunt’s job to repeatedly complete the most impossible of missions on-screen, the crew behind the Mission: Impossible franchise clearly take the title a little too seriously, too.
That’s because Simon Pegg, who reprises his role as Benji Dunn for a fourth time in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout, “has revealed that when production on the film begun writer and director Christopher McQuarrie’s script was only 33 pages long, and he had no idea how some scenes would end.
But rather than that causing chaos, as it would if any other director was directing any other movie, Pegg insists that it just brought the best out of McQuarrie.
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“The way the film was written and constructed was very organic in terms of it grew as we went. Chris had a kind of rough idea of where we were going. But the script when we started principal photography was 33 pages long.”
“We trusted that Chris would come up with the goods as we went. He works very well in that situation, he thrives under pressure, he is great at figuring stuff out. He relishes the opportunity to do that.”
Despite these conditions, Pegg insists that there was never any suggestion or feeling that “Fallout” or shoot was in “a crisis.”
“Even though the film was being created as we went, the confidence from the studio in that process – which kind of happened on ‘Rogue Nation’ really, even though we had a script, but it was kind of re-written as we went. There was never a moment when it felt as though things were out of control, or that we were in trouble.”
“There was supreme confidence in the process throughout. There was never a moment when we felt as though it wasn’t going to work. Because we had complete faith that those script pages would materialize. And they did. In a way it just seems to serve Tom and Chris’ process.”
But while Pegg clearly had every confidence that McQuarrie would be able to complete the film under these conditions, he admits that Tom Cruise breaking his ankle during production, which delayed filming for seven weeks, “actually helped.”
“Because it allowed us to take stock of where we were, have a look at where we were going, and plan a little more.”
“I said to Chris, the best metaphor for the writing of this film is in ‘Wallace & Gromit,’ when Gromit is riding the train and putting the track down in front of the train as he is going. I sent him that GIF the other day and said, ‘This is you writing ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’.’ It is true.”
“Even though that was a crazy situation to be in, it sort of serves Chris’ method in a way. Not many filmmakers could do it, if any. It is an incredibly high pressured environment, but it seems to bring out the best in Chris.”
“Things were always changing, nothing was set in stone in terms of where we were going, how things were going to turn out. I’d often sit down and say to McQuarrie, ‘So, what happens to next?’ And he’d say, ‘I don’t know!’ But it works.”
“I mean, it is not easy for everyone else. It is not easy for Tommy Gormley the first AD, who has to schedule the movie. And it is not easy for us as actors, because we don’t know exactly when we will be coming in.”
“I remember not being there for the first 30 days, and calling Chris and saying, ‘Am I in this film?’ And it was just because they were shooting the Paris chase and it took a very long time. That’s just how the film had to be made.”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is released on July 27.