The sixth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise is just around the corner, and our very own Tom Cruise aka Ethan Hunt is coming back as the leading man. It is amazing how even at the age of 55 years, Mr. Cruise can perform at the phenomenal level he does, not just in his acting but also in his remarkable stunt work. From hanging off the side of the tallest building in the world to sticking himself to the side of a moving plane, Tom Cruise always ups the ante, and I cannot wait to see what he does in the coming installment, Fallout.
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
It would be safe to say that as of now, Tom Cruise is the name that brings excitement and expectations to the Mission Impossible franchise. But we cannot ignore the fact that he cannot continue to do such demanding roles and stunts for a very long time, maybe he can do a couple of more movies, but he will have to eventually stop. But would that kill the franchise as well? Of a better question to ask is, should the franchise die if Tom Cruise is unwilling or unable to come back to the character of Ethan Hunt? In my opinion, the answer to that is an absolutely NOT. The show must go on.
Henry Cavill as August Walker
In order to do that the franchise would require a new face and a way to get him into the shoes of Tom Cruise, which is next to impossible. But there is a smarter way to do it. Mission Impossible Fallout introduces the audience to a new character, August Walker, who is played by Superman aka Henry Cavill. According to the trailers he is a CIA agent who is tasked to assassinate Ethan Hunt is Ethan goes rogue again (which he obviously will). This will create a dynamic in which Ethan hunt is trying to stop the bad guy all the while trying to defend himself against this assassin who is hell bent on eliminating him.
This can be used as a device to give the franchise a new face. In the terms of professional wrestling, they can Tom Cruise to get Henry Cavill over. Which means, have Ethan Hunt be defeated by August Walker in all their altercations letting him narrowly slide out of his hands. By the end of the second act show August that Ethan’s mission is right and if Ethan does not go through with it, the effects would be catastrophic. This is when August come over to Ethan’s side and helps him accomplish the mission.
Stills from Mission Impossible: Fallout
In the next installment: Mission Impossible 7, have August be a new recruit of the team lead by Ethan Hunt. In the first act, have both of them try to one up each other. In the second act Ethan disappears and August and the team try to find him using unconventional ways of August which are reminiscent to Ethan’s way of working but are slightly more edgy. This will give a little more credibility to Henry’s character. In the third act, August and the team walk into a trap along with Ethan who is trying to find his team, but is slightly more beaten up. Getting out of this trap would require quick with and strength. Both Ethan and August figure out a way to escape only to have Ethan to break down at the final stage, here August takes charge and uses Ethan’s experience to save the whole team. At the end both of them defeat the main antagonist and bring him to justice. The final scenes of the movie show Ethan retiring as a field agent and being promoted as the head of the MI department, and August taking the place of Ethan.
This will bring a new face to the franchise as a lead; Tom Cruise’s name would still be attached to the franchise, and will give a new life and energy to the series. Henry Cavill is a beloved actor. His DC movies Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman and Justice League may not all be the most loved movies but no one ever blamed him for that. In fact he is considered to be the best Superman after Christopher Reeve. He has the physique and the perfect look to play such a role and his action capabilities shine even in the trailers.
The seventh installment can be used as a passing of torch to August by Ethan and from the eighth installment, Henry can be in the lead role and Tom Cruise can be in a Character Role. It is to be noted that this process will take about 5 years which would mean that Tom would be entering his sixties, which is the perfect age for anyone to take a leadership role.
Paramount studio needs this franchise to stick around as the Mission Impossible Franchise is their only big franchise that makes them big money. It had Transformers that made billions of dollars but it has now been sold to another studio. And it looks like they don’t really have many franchises that can fill the seats just on their names.
It’s important for the studio now to make some changes in the direction that the franchise is going in and give it a new life. Having a new lead is their best chance to keep playing with bigger studios like Warner Brothers or Disney.