While Mission: Impossible was originally a successful TV series, the franchise had new life breathed into it over two decades ago when it was brought to the big screen. Initially each new Mission: Impossible movie brought with it a new director to bring their own unique spin, but after doing some uncredited rewrites on Ghost Protocol, Christopher McQuarrie was tapped to helm Rogue Nation and Fallout, and now the franchise is arguably more successful then ever. Clearly Paramount thinks so, because it was announced last week that McQuarrie will return to write and direct two more Mission: Impossible movies. This is exciting news, to be sure, but it also provides an opportunity for this film series to end on a high note.
There’s no question that the Mission: Impossible franchise has been riding high this decade. The critical and commercial receptions on the last three movies were exceptional, with last year’s Fallout ranking at 97% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and making over $791 million worldwide. With McQuarrie leading the charge again, the chances of Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8experiencing that level of success are quite strong, and since the latter movie is expected to be released in summer 2022, that means the film series will reach its 26th anniversary. But all things must come to an end at some point, and rather than push its luck and trying to hit 10 movies by the 30 year mark, Paramount would be better off wrapping up the film series now to finish Ethan Hunt’s story.
Before Christopher McQuarrie joined the Mission: Impossible franchise, each movie felt like a largely standalone feature, with Ethan Hunt and Luther Stickell being the only recurring characters. But starting with Ghost Protocol, and to a larger degree Rogue Nation, these movies have become more connected to one another, and Fallout in particular saw the most amount of established characters returning, including Ethan’s ex-wife, Julia Meade. The fact that these next two Mission: Impossible movies are being filmed back-to-back suggest that those stories could be even more closely tied together, similarly to what Marvel did with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Assuming that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to end the Mission: Impossible franchise on the biggest bang possible rather than trudge to the finish line with a lesser product?