Christopher McQuarrie is on fire. Between directing a film like “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” and writing the script for a movie like “Edge of Tomorrow,” the man certainly has his ducks in a row when it comes to exciting storytelling. Even more exciting, however, is that McQuarrie is set to return for sequels to both films as a director and writer, respectively.
In a recent interview with Collider, McQuarrie opened up about follow-ups to both hit movies. Let’s start with the “Edge of Tomorrow” sequel.
“Edge of Tomorrow” is a movie that seemed to have everything going against it. It had a super generic title, and to many folks, it looked like an extension of Tom Cruise’s last film, “Oblivion.” What’s more, the film was based on the Japanese light novel “All You Need Is Kill,” and the current hit rate for Hollywood titles originating in Japan is quite low. Usually it’s hard to find a property that universal enough in nature to please American audiences. Light novels are usually destined for anime and manga adaptations, and often times the typical anime or manga is simply too culturally different to work overseas. “Edge of Tomorrow” was the exception.
While”Edge of Tomorrow” didn’t kill it at the box office, the word of mouth was good enough to warrant a sequel.
As far as where things stood with the next installment, McQuarrie had the following to say:
“We have the idea for the sequel locked and loaded…I donâ€™t know what I can say. I can only say itâ€™s a going concern.”
Sounds like not a whole lot of progress, and that’s unfortunate. One has to wonder where the story could go after the end of the first movie, as things were tied up pretty nicely.
Moving on to “Mission: Impossible 6,” McQuarrie discussed that current status of Rebecca Ferguson joining the cast. The actress wowed critics and audiences alike with her role in “Rogue Nation,” and when we heard word she’d be coming back for the sequel, we couldn’t be more thrilled. While it sounds like her return is inevitable, McQuarrie made very clear that nothing is set in stone.
“There is nothing confirmed. I literally just started writing the screenplay and will be working on the screenplay for quite some time. I have not spoken to anybody but Tom, and I just started writing the script. But I certainly would love for her to be back, I would love to work with Rebecca again.”
We’ll see if she makes it into the script for “M:I 6,” but if she does, she’d be the first female lead in the franchise to make a return — not counting Michelle Monaghan’s uncredited role in “Ghost Protocol.”
No doubt we expect big things in the next movie, but McQuarrie is the first director in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise to actually come back for another film, which is huge. He’ll actually be able to take the things he’s learned in the previous movie and apply it to the next to hopefully iterate on the franchise’s success. Collider asked the director what lessons he learned from the experience of working on “Rogue Nation.”
“Start with a finished screenplay [Laughs]. You know, we dove into this one with very little time and were figuring out the story as we went and it was just really an intense experience. At the same time, I donâ€™t think we wouldâ€™ve come up with some of the things that we did if we had sat down and thought them out in advance. Forget all that â€” the lesson I learned is that a plan is not a guarantee of success and chaos is not a guarantee of failure.”
Starting films without a working script isn’t completely uncommon. Marvel has been known to do it from time to time, and if Peter Jackson’s recent interview regarding “The Hobbit” trilogy is any indication, they weren’t anywhere near happy with the script before they began shooting. The same is said of the second two “Bourne” films.
“Yeah. It really just comes down to: you canâ€™t panic, you have to get to work every day and work the problem. And if youâ€™re surrounded by good people and youâ€™re really honest with yourself, youâ€™ll be delivered. And ultimately, we never took for granted the kind of movie we were making â€” we were really exacting and really painstaking and we were always thinking about the audience every step of the way.”
Finally, the director was asked about the hardest part of pulling off a stunt, and McQuarrie gave a bit of a surprising answer.
“Well, the biggest challenge is not coming up with the stunt, the biggest challenge is designing a sequence around it that sort of justifies its existence. And also you have to be thinking in your head, ‘How is this going to be incorporated into the marketing of the movie?’ You know that certain things that you use in the film are going to be shown to audiences five hundred times before they ever sit down to watch the movie. So you have to kind of modulate what can I do to give marketing enough material but that I can still withhold certain things so that itâ€™s fresh and surprising for the audience coming to see the movie. In this case, in the case of ‘Mission,’ the thing that we withheld from the audience was the underwater sequence, and a lot of that was because of the fact that it wasnâ€™t finished until the day before we premiered the movie. So really for me the trickiest part is how you keep it a secret, how you keep it hidden from the audience until they come and see the movie. I just want them to come and at least see some surprises and not knowing everything about the film.”
“Mission: Impossible 6” is set to hit theaters some time in 2017.