Before Tom Cruise starred in Mission: Impossible he was known for appearing in a number of dramas and romantic comedies. When he took on the role of Ethan Hunt in 1996 – 25 years ago – his career changed completely. He was then looked at as the action hero movie star, going on to appear in seven M:I films as well as some other thrilling hits including Jack Reacher, Minority Report and Edge of Tomorrow. The beginning to Mission: Impossible was drastically different, however, before George Lucas got involved.
Director of the 1996 spy movie, Brian De Palma, recently spoke out about the opening scene of the film.
During the scene, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) collected his agents together and discussed the mission at hand in Prague.
This was not in the original script, he revealed.
He said: “When George saw Mission: Impossible he said: ‘There’s no setup to this thing. You’ve gotta set this thing up!'”
Brian continued: “[Lucas said:] ‘You’ve gotta have that scene where they’re all sitting around the table and everybody gets their instructions about what’s gonna happen.'” (Via Light The Fuse Podcast)
The creation of this scene has become a staple in the M:I franchise and its foundation is still used in its films to this day.
Lucas’ advice, De Palma revealed, prompted him to reshoot the opening scene entirely.
He continued: “In the beginning, we had this very strange scene – it’s hard for me to remember now – with Voight and somehow the jealous thing with the wife and Tom, and then we got into the first mission.”
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De Palma had his reservations about the space epic, but in particular, wanted Lucas to fix the opening crawl.
At first, the opening crawl of text was over six paragraphs long, something De Palma couldn’t stomach.
So he stepped in and helped Lucas cut the crawl to three paragraphs.
Lucas’ new scene in Mission: Impossible wasn’t the only alteration to the script.
During filming, Cruise struggled to pull off the infamous heist scene which involved him dangling from the ceiling by a rope.
To combat the momentum that kept throwing his head into the floor, he stuffed his shoes with coins to counteract his balance distribution.
After filling his trainers with countless one pound coins, he managed the final take that is seen in the film.
The Mission Impossible series is available to watch on NOW.