Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie explains why SPOILER had to die.
MAJOR SPOILER for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Consider yourself warned. The latest Mission: Impossible sequel is filled to the brim with all the death-defying stunts, spy craft, and high-stakes drama we’ve come to expect from the franchise, but it also bid farewell to one of its more memorable characters.
If you’re still with us, you know that the major spoiler involves Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) meeting her end in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. The character has been a fan favourite since her introduction in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but director Christopher McQuarrie told Empire that Ilsa’s time had come. “It was one of the earliest conversations – around the set of Top Gun, we were already talking about it,” McQuarrie said of Ilsa’s death. “We knew that that emotional arc [of Dead Reckoning] was of a certain emotional tone. And we knew that if the movie was going to go darker, something in the story had to diverge.”
As for why Ilsa had to die, McQuarrie explained that giving the character a heroic death was a way to avoid diluting her. “Any place you took that character would make less of her. It would suddenly become frivolous, which is something we’re always trying to avoid,” McQuarrie said. “The character would become frivolous, or she would just become a romantic interest. And it was never about creating a character who was defined by her love story with Ethan Hunt. Their relationship transcends a traditional love story. It felt like that story was looking for its resolution. And so we said, ‘This has got to happen’. What really needs to happen in the story is, the stakes have to be real. They can’t be implied.”
The director knew fans would be upset, both because they love Ilsa Faust and also because killing off female characters can be controversial. While McQuarrie knows that those conversations are very necessary when it comes to storytelling and representation, he said, “It’s not whether or not a character dies. It’s not what group that character represents, when that character dies. It’s not what emotion that character instils in the protagonist when that character dies. It’s the value of that character’s death,” he argues. “It’s not any more complicated than that: did they die for a reason?“
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/mission-impossible-dead-reckoning-spoiler/