Tom Cruise Running

Where Does the Franchise Go From Here?

Mission: Impossible has become the very-best action franchise around right now, and really one of the best franchises of all time. Cruise and company have built a legacy, with one film after another improving on the last. At 56 (I had to double-check to make sure that was right), Cruise shows no signs of slowing-down. Fallout had the biggest box office opening of the franchise to date. A new Mission is inevitable.

But what direction will it go? Fallout has put the series in an interesting place. Up until now, one of Mission: Impossible’s greatest assets was its ever-changing directors. Each new film brought on a new director, who then brought something new to the series. Fallout is the first film to carry a director over. And while McQuarrie deliberately changed crews from Rogue Nation and Fallout to make it seem different, one can’t help but wonder if he’ll be coming back for the next entry.

A part of me wants someone new and exciting to step in. But McQuarrie has become so good at this – his direction here is astoundingly assured – that it would feel wrong to see him go. On that note, does the next entry follow in the footsteps of this film, and continue to be a direct sequel, or does it start fresh all over again? I sure as hell want more Ilsa Faust (although please, do not make her and Ethan lovers; they work much better as colleagues), and I definitely want more of Kirby’s White Widow, which more or less confirms that I want the next film to be more of a direct follow-up.

And yet, another big strength of the franchise has been its ability to adapt and do something different each time. For each sequel to stand on its own. Time will tell what happens. In the end, as long as Tom Cruise keeps running, I’ll be watching. As long as the missions are there, I’ll choose to accept them. But good lord, how do you top the action and excitement Fallout without giving audience members actual heart attacks?

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About the Author

Chris Evangelista is a staff writer for /Film. He's contributed to CutPrintFilm, RogerEbert.com, Nerdist, Mashable, and more. Follow him on Twitter @cevangelista413 or email him at chris@chrisevangelista.net