THR analyzes the appeal of Tom Cruise’s M:I series

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's teaser poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s teaser poster

The Hollywood Reporter has published an article examining why Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible film series remains popular.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the newest film in the series, is due for release on July 31. It’s the fifth entry in 19 years. Here’s an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter story about the M:I series differs from other film franchises.

The Mission: Impossibles are almost a stealth series; they’re released some distance apart (Mission: Impossible II followed four years after the first, with the third six years after that; Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol arrived five years later, making this summer’s Rogue Nation seem almost rushed with just a four year window between movies), and lack the tight self-referential nature of modern genre franchises. You really can go into each movie entirely fresh and learn all there is to know within a matter of minutes. (Mostly because all you really need to know is “Tom Cruise plays an unstoppable super spy.”)

The initial M:I film in 1996 included Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), the lead character played by Peter Graves for six of the seven seasons of the 1966-73 series. But that movie turned Phelps into a villain, with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt vanquishing Phelps.

2011’s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, actually dug into the original show for some major sequences (albeit bigger and better versions for the screen).

Paramount, the studio that releases Cruise’s M:I movies, originally scheduled the new film for Christmas but moved it up to the summer. Studios generally don’t move up movies on the schedule if they don’t believe in their prospects. We’ll soon see whether star-producer Cruise still has his golden touch.

M:I Rogue Nation cast to take questions on Twitter

The cast of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation on July 25 will be answering questions submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #AskMissionImpossible.

The fifth Mission: Impossible movie with star-producer Tom Cruise has been active using social media to promote the film. Director Christopher McQuarrie has used Twitter to provide update and answer questions.

Embedded below is the tweet from Parmount announcing the Q&As. The movie will be released July 31.

Early forecast for M:I Rogue Nation: $40M opening weekend

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's teaser poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s teaser poster

Two weeks ahead of its July 31 debut, the early forecast for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is for opening weekend box office of $40 million in the U.S., according to A VARIETY STORY by Brent Lang.

“That’s less than the first three “Mission: Impossible” movies did in their initial weekends, though it does beat the $29.8 million debut that “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” generated in its wide release debut,” Lang wrote.

Ghost Protocol, released in 2011, was the most recent in the series with star-producer Tom Cruise and it “was remarkably resilient, not dropping by more than 50% weekend to weekend until six weeks after it hit theaters. It ended its run with nearly $210 million at the Stateside box office,” Lang wrote.

A $40 million opening weekend would be a bit better than other spy and spy-related movies earlier this year: Taken 3’s $39.2 million, Kingsman: The Secret Service’s $36.2 million and Spy’s $29.1 million.

The forecasts, also known as “tracking,” play a role in whether a movie is seen as financially successful. Actual box office receipts exceeding the forecasts usually cause a movie to be seen as a success. Falling short often generates bad publicity in the entertainment media.

The new M:I film has the Impossible Missions Force opposing “the Syndicate,” a mysterious group and the “Rogue Nation” of the title. The movie features Cruise, once again, doing a signature stunt, this time hanging on the side of an airplane.

About that M:I Rogue Nation air stunt…

An official video has been posted to YouTube about the signature air stunt in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.

This has been featured since the first teaser trailer. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) appears to be hanging on the side of an airplane, desperately trying to get in. The video posted today is a behind-the-scenes look at how it was filmed.

M:I Rogue Nation director answers Twitter questions

Christopher McQuarrie, the director of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, answered questions on Twitter on Sunday.

The fifth Mission: Impossible film with Tom Cruise, is due out at the end of this month. McQuarrie provided updates about the movie while it was in production. So the Q&A session was a natural extension of that.

Here’s a sampling of the director’s interaction.

Question: How long did it take to film the plane sequence?

Q: What was the toughest scene to shoot?

Q: How often do you have to talk Tom Cruise out of doing insane stunts?

Q: Do you relate yourself to Ethan Hunt or any other M:I character?

To check out the entire Q&A, go to McQuarrie’s TWITTER FEED.

M:I Rogue Nation apparently ends post production

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's teaser poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’s teaser poster

Christoper McQuarrie, director of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, went to Twitter to signal that the post-production of the fifth M:I film has finished post production.

The director gave periodic updates on the production, starring and produced by Tom Cruise, on Twitter. The film originally was scheduled for a Dec. 25 release. But Paramount moved up the movie to July 31.

In early 2013, Cruise had been approached to play Napoleon Solo for a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Cruise, though, exited that project by May 2013 after Paramount secured his services for the new M:I project. Cruise’s exit paved the way for actor Henry Cavill to play Solo. The U.N.C.L.E movie debuts Aug. 14, two weeks after Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.

Anyway, take a look for yourself at the director’s tweet. Mission: Impossible is the next major release in 2015’s Year of the Spy:

Second Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation trailer debuts

The second trailer for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation went online early today. It includes extended versions of scenes contained in the original teaser trailer.

In the movie, the Tom Cruise version of the Impossible Missions Force is up against the Syndicate, the Rogue Nation of the title. In the original 1966-73 television series, the Syndicate was simply the Mafia. In the movie, it’s a mysterious, shadowy organization. The movie comes out July 31.

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