Christopher McQuarrie made 'Mission: Impossible 7' two movies to make it more 'emotional'

Gregory Wakeman
Christopher McQuarrie breaks down why the next Mission: Impossible movie had to be split in two (Image by Paramount Pictures)

Mission: Impossible’s writer and director Christopher McQuarrie quickly decided that the upcoming installment had to be split into two films because he wanted to make the series more emotional. 

That’s exactly what McQuarrie achieved with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in 2018’s Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which is why the filmmaker wanted to give the rest of the ensemble the exact same treatment. 

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“The reason there are two is quite simply when we went into making Fallout I said to Tom, ‘I really want to make this more of an emotional journey for Ethan.’ Knowing full well that that would be a longer movie because the action just consumes an obligatory amount of real estate,” McQuarrie told the Light The Fuse podcast.

BURBANK, CA - JANUARY 30: Tom Cruise and Harold Lloyd Award For Filmmaking Recipient Christopher McQuarrie attend the 10th Annual Lumiere Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on January 30, 2019 in Burbank. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Advanced Imaging Society)

“You’re only left then with so much room for story. So, I knew Fallout would run longer. Going into this, I said, ‘I want to take what we learned from Fallout and apply it to every character in the movie’ … I want everybody to have an emotional arc; I just want the movie to have more feeling across the board.”

As McQuarrie added more and more characters and storylines to Mission: Impossible 7 in order to achieve the above, he soon realised that the running time would be at least 210 minutes.

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“We know that with the addition of extra characters and the addition of storylines for the team, the movie’s gonna be three hours long. In reality that means with us doing it it will be 3 ½. Who are we kidding? Let’s just call it four, cut it in half and make it two movies. Now, the story can just kind of breathe.”