Mission: Impossible – The Ultimate Spy Franchise
Mission: Impossible is a multimedia franchise that spans television, film, music and video games. It follows the adventures of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), a team of elite agents who undertake covert operations around the world. The franchise is known for its thrilling action sequences, high-tech gadgets, elaborate disguises and iconic theme music.
The franchise began with the television series Mission: Impossible, which aired from 1966 to 1973 and was created by Bruce Geller. The series was revived in 1988 for two more seasons. The first film adaptation, starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, was released in 1996 and was directed by Brian De Palma. Since then, there have been five more films in the series, each with a different director and a different plot. The latest film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was released in 2018 and was directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The franchise has also spawned several soundtracks, video games and spin-off novels.
Mission: Impossible is one of the most successful and popular action franchises of all time, having grossed over $3.5 billion worldwide. It has received critical acclaim for its innovative stunts, cinematography, editing and score. It has also influenced many other spy films and shows, such as the James Bond series, the Bourne series and Alias. The franchise has a loyal fan base and a cultural impact that spans generations.
The franchise is not over yet, as two more films are planned to be released in 2023 and 2024. These films will be titled Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Part Two, and will serve as a bookend to the series. They will be co-produced and released by Paramount Pictures.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the key elements that make Mission: Impossible such a successful and beloved franchise.
The main protagonist of the franchise is Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Hunt is a highly skilled and dedicated agent of the IMF, who often finds himself in dangerous and impossible situations. He is also a loyal leader and friend to his team members, who have varied personalities and skills. Some of the most notable team members are:
- Luther Stickell, played by Ving Rhames. He is a computer expert and hacker, who has been with Hunt since the first film. He provides technical support and comic relief to the team.
- Benji Dunn, played by Simon Pegg. He is a former technician who became a field agent in the fourth film. He is a gadget whiz and a fanboy of spy movies, who often gets into trouble with his enthusiasm and curiosity.
- Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson. She is a former MI6 agent who first appeared in the fifth film. She is a skilled fighter and spy, who has a complicated relationship with Hunt. She often helps him but also has her own agenda.
- Luther Stickell
Other recurring characters include Jim Phelps, played by Jon Voight. He was Hunt’s mentor and leader in the first film, but turned out to be a traitor and the main antagonist. He was killed by Hunt in the climax of the film. Another character is Julia Meade, played by Michelle Monaghan. She was Hunt’s wife in the third film, but they separated in the fourth film to protect her from his enemies. She reappeared in the sixth film, where she revealed that she had remarried and was happy with her new life.
The franchise has featured many memorable villains, who often have personal connections to Hunt or his team. Some of the most notable villains are:
- Sean Ambrose, played by Dougray Scott. He was Hunt’s former colleague and friend, who betrayed him and stole a deadly virus in the second film. He also had a romantic interest in Nyah Nordoff-Hall, played by Thandie Newton, who was Hunt’s love interest and undercover agent.
- Owen Davian, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was a ruthless arms dealer and kidnapper, who threatened to kill Hunt’s wife Julia in the third film. He also had access to a mysterious device called the Rabbit’s Foot, which was never fully explained.
- Kurt Hendricks, played by Michael Nyqvist. He was a rogue nuclear strategist and terrorist, who wanted to start a nuclear war in the fourth film. He also had an accomplice named Sabine Moreau, played by LÃ©a Seydoux, who killed one of Hunt’s team members.
- Solomon Lane, played by Sean Harris. He was the leader of a rogue organization called the Syndicate, which was composed of former agents from various intelligence agencies. He was the main antagonist of the fifth and sixth films, where he orchestrated several attacks and tried to destroy Hunt’s reputation and life.
- August Walker, played by Henry Cavill. He was a CIA assassin and double agent, who worked for Lane and tried to frame Hunt for several crimes in the sixth film. He also had a distinctive mustache that caused controversy during the filming of Justice League.