This ending to the original Impossible mission is also significant for the new trailer as we see Max’s character’s daughter, Vanessa Kirby’s “White Widow,” on her own fateful train ride through desert terrain. The familiarity of the action setting is unlikely to be a coincidence.
Even in its title, which ends with “Part One”, Mission: Impossible – Estimated promises to be the heaviest of continuity Impossible mission movie never made. It also taps again into the sweet spot the franchise discovered with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie at the helm. The Oscar-winning scribe became the first director to return to the stylish and diverse franchise more than once, helming Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in 2015 then Mission: Impossible – Fall in 2018. As such, he was the first director to maintain a stylistic sensibility for more than one film in a series that previously boasted of letting different filmmakers and writers leave their own mark.
But while McQuarrie picked up his best additions from his films throughout the MID films he made, including delving into Ethan Hunt’s recklessness and developing his relationship with the new character of Ilsa Faust (a scene-stealing Rebecca Ferguson), he also surprisingly embraced the continuity and sense of franchise history for the first time. Beyond Ferguson’s Ilsa and other recurring characters that have been kept over the years, including Ving Rhames’ hacker Luther Stickell and Simon Pegg’s amusing sidekick Benji Dunn, every film has been largely autonomous.
Nevertheless, Impossible mission surprised fans when it revealed the sleazy White Widow character was actually the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave’s character from the 1996 film and unexpectedly brought back Julia from Michelle Monaghan, the former wife of Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible 3 (2006).
It is currently unclear whether the two parties Dead Reckoning The McQuarrie and Cruise films will truly be a true finale for the series, but that’s certainly the case when one of Hunt’s original antagonists warns, “You have to pick a side.”
Go back to the beginning of a saga, even episodic like Impossible mission, seems typical of a story about to draw its last curtain. This also raises the question of what other reminders we might have of precedents Impossible mission movies. It’s nice that Ilsa Faust returns yet again from the last two movies and has apparently developed a real romance with Ethan – as well as a curious eye patch at the end of the movie that’s all sorts of badass – but what if we link this in to other ways of what came before? By the time Second part come out, could we see a return of Anthony Hopkins’ own IMF chief or look back at what happened to Thandiwe Newton’s Nyah Hall? Could we even learn that there was more to Phelps’ infamous betrayal than we previously knew?