One of the staples of the Mission: Impossible franchise is the incredibly realistic masks used by the IMF agents, which are often dramatically removed to reveal Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) underneath. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation changed up the formula by giving the traditional mask sequence to Simon Pegg’s character, Benji Dunn.
During Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Benji became enamored with the IMF masks and the idea of using them to go undercover. Rogue Nation finally gave Benji a chance to envision his fantasy. But the onscreen illusion was more difficult than it seemed.
In this exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette from the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Blu-ray, writer and director Christopher McQuarrie explains that he wanted to achieve Rogue Nation’s mask scene without the use of CGI. The solution turned out to be smoke and mirrors. Or more accurately, no smoke and a fake mirror in which Pegg faced the actor who was portraying the character that Benji was impersonating, while Cruise and his co-star, Rebecca Ferguson stood opposite their body doubles.
It may sound like a simple trick, but the production team had to create mirrored opposites of everything in the room, including the reversed spines of the books on the bookcase! An easier way to pull that off would have been to just leave the bookcase out of the shot. But the creative team and the crew of the film went the extra mile to ensure that the illusion was believable, even if no one ever noticed the level of detail that went into making it.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is out on Blu-ray and DVD today.
What did you think of the mirror illusion as explained in this video? Share your thoughts below!
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures