'Mission: Impossible 7' Image Showcases The Return Of Henry Czerny As Franchise Frenemy Kittridge

Long before Tom Cruise swung off the Burj Khalifa, strapped himself to the outside of an actual airplane, or broke his ankle while leaping from building to building, his Mission: Impossible character used a piece of explosive gum to blow up a restaurant aquarium and escape from CIA director Eugene Kittridge, memorably played by Henry Czerny. We've known Czerny would be returning to reprise that role 25 years later in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7, and now writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has shared a new image of Kittridge on the film's set. Czerny-hive, rise up!

"Kittridge, You've Never Seen Me Very Upset"

The aforementioned restaurant scene in the original movie featured a showcase moment for Czerny as Kittridge, when he confronted Cruise's Ethan Hunt because he thought Hunt was a mole who was selling government secrets to shady baddies. Assuming this new photo from McQuarrie is actually a shot that will actually show up in the upcoming movie (probably in color instead of black and white), McQuarrie is paying homage to director Brian De Palma, who used extreme canted angles to great effect in the original scene.

"We made sure that there were no nose hairs that were going to keep people's attention away from the scene," he told /Film as he reflected on filming that scene in an interview earlier this year.

Czerny's performance is a huge part of the reason that scene works so well. He plays it all with a supreme sense of smugness (note the "yeah" at the :26 mark that's just dripping with arrogant disdain), like he's showing up to a battle with the foreknowledge that he's already won and there's nothing his opponent can do about it. Of course, Kittridge could never imagine that Hunt would upend the entire thing by blowing up the aquarium, and it sounds like in the intervening years, he's gone out of his way to make sure something like that would not happen again.

"What has [Kittridge] been doing all these years?" Czerny said when we spoke with him. "[McQuarrie] wasn't all that concerned about that. I was. I decided that he'd been to all the agencies on some level or other, had a good idea now of how the game is played and what his place is in this mechanism of national intelligence. I figured he'd been through all of them at this point, and he'd been schooled by Ethan 25 years ago...the relationship that they had in the first one, Ethan schooling Kittridge on who the mole really was and catching the mole, was the springboard to 25 years of Kittridge going through different agencies so he wouldn't be schooled again."

Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 27, 2022.