The new trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has given us a lot to unpack, with the thrilling action we’ve come to expect from Tom Cruise‘s signature brand of spy-based chaos. Directed once more by Christopher McQuarrie, this penultimate installment of the Mission franchise promises a reckoning for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, and his loyal band of Impossible Mission Force (IMF) agents and allies.
McQuarrie has sat down with Empire Magazine to break down the principal aspects of the trailer, and in doing so, added his desire to tease what was to come – but not to ruin the entire thing. “I’m very sensitive to when people tell me how disappointed they are when trailers tend to give away the entire movie,” he says.
A key theme of Dead Reckoning – both parts of it – appears to revolve around the idea of a threat from Ethan Hunt’s past returning to haunt him. The film’s antagonist was initially to be played by Nicholas Hoult, who had to drop out when the pandemic ended up causing agonizing schedule conflicts. Hoult had to bow out, and McQuarrie swooped in to cast Esai Morales, who is undoubtedly an older gentleman than Hoult. As a result, this is a brand-new villain – he didn’t just take Hoult’s place in the script, as McQuarrie explained.
“Casting Esai allowed us to explore things with those characters and the notion of Ethan’s past. Ethan has a past that predates the IMF, and that allowed us to explore that with a character that knew Ethan before Ethan was Ethan. That’s part of who Gabriel is. Every detail of the story is very carefully considered. People who want to do their homework can derive from that name, whatever they please.”
Esai Morales Will Add a Layer of Complexity to the Mission Franchise
Lots can be taken upon from those comments. Let’s start with ‘before Ethan was Ethan’. Fans have wondered in the past if Ethan Hunt was truly the character’s name, or simply an identity assumed by an agent. Could it be as complex as that, or as simple as “before he joined the IMF”? And McQuarrie is happy for us to speculate on every facet of the script – so why is Gabriel the chosen name? Are we discussing an archangel with dark purpose?
We’ll see what Ethan Hunt makes of Gabriel when the two lock horns on the big screen in a few months’ time. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One hits theaters on July 12, 2023. Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part Two comes on June 28, 2024. You can check out the brand-new trailer for Part One down below: