For the second weekend in a row, screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is on top at the box office. The final runtime of Rogue Nation is 131 minutes, but as McQuarrie recently explained, he had to cut a few scenes because of the initial response by test audiences.
“We shot [scenes] and they were cut from the movie,” said McQuarrie. “The movie was running 2 hours and 20 minutes long. The test audience was telling us that there were pace issues, there were things going on in the movie specifically about what drove the turn in the members of the Syndicate as told by – there’s a ghost of a conversation when Ethan confronts Lane at the end and says something along the line, ‘You had a crisis of faith. Am I fighting for the right side? Is it worth risking my life for a world that doesn’t seem to care?’ This is all stuff that Ethan and Benji discussed in the safe house at the beginning of the movie. It’s before Ethan introduces the idea of the Syndicate. He contextualizes it as, ‘This is who they are, this is what it’s about.’”
“There’s 10 minutes after the car chase where you’re still in Morocco,” continued McQuarrie. “Where Ethan is confronted both by the villain and by Alec Baldwin and the entire movie is yet again upended and your concept of who Ilsa is is thrown into complete and utter chaos and the audience was just telling us, ‘Pace, pace, pace and tempo,’ and the pace and length, the pace and length. And when we went in and pulled all of those things out of the movie, the movie just took off.”
“I was sad to see them go, but at the same time I knew they didn’t really need to be there,” added McQuarrie. “I found myself having overwritten the movie and sort of violating my own cardinal rule, and the audience was telling me, ‘We don’t want it and we don’t need it. We just want to have a good time.’”
Whatever was changed appears to have worked out for McQuarrie and company. Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have already confirmed that Mission: Impossible 6 is on the docket. But there’s no word yet on whether McQuarrie will be the first Mission: Impossible director to helm more than one movie in the franchise.
Mission: Impossible fans, did it feel like anything significant was missing from Rogue Nation? Are you not entertained?! Let us know in the comment section below!