Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will bring back Ethan Hunt’s old nemesis, Kittridge, though he almost got a disappointing Fallout cameo.
Followers of the Impossible mission the franchise is happy to see the return of Ethan Hunt’s former nemesis, Kittridge (Henry Czerny), but his planned appearance in To fall would have undermined his return. Though he’s now firmly established as an action star, Tom Cruise wasn’t so tightly tied to the genre early in his career. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Cruise jumped from genre to genre, including fantasy (Ridley Scott’s Legend), drama (rain man) or even horror (Interview with the Vampire). Impossible mission saw Cruise attempt to build a franchise for himself, with the revival of the classic 60s TV series featuring him as IMF agent Ethan Hunt.
The original was directed by Brian De Palma, who brought his trademark visual flair to the project. While the first entry had great action, it was even more of a spy thriller. The original file of Impossible mission franchise was that each entry would have a filmmaker with a unique style, with action writer John Woo helming the second film while JJ Abrams made his directorial debut in 2006. Mission: Impossible 3. The series is one of the rare examples of a franchise that (arguably) gets better with each release, especially since Christopher McQuarrie directed the fifth and sixth movies.
McQuarrie also returned to helm for the upcoming seventh entry Mission: impossible to reckon, part one and its planned sequel. Adding to the excitement for longtime fans of the series is the return of Kittridge (Henry Czerny), who was the director of the IMF in the original film. Kittridge suspected Hunt of being a mole after the death of his entire team and pursued him mercilessly until Hunt cleared his name in the finale. Although not quite a real villain, Kittridge was one of Hunt’s most memorable enemies, and his return for Mission: impossible to reckon, part one promises great things. However, a gimmick cameo planned for the character in 2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout would have undermined his return.
During post-production on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, McQuarrie added his own voice to the IMF briefing that introduces Hunt to his new assignment. McQuarrie considered other artists to perform this exhibition dump, including Alec Baldwin’s Hunley. According to an interview with the Empire podcast, another idea was for Czerny to reprise her role as Kittridge, but given how many fans were looking forward to her eventual return, that would have been very disappointing.
If Kittridge had broken his 20-year absence just to perform a mission briefing, it would have been little more than a gimmick or Easter egg. As one of Hunt’s best antagonists, he deserved a meatier return, which thankfully seems to be the case with his Mission: Impossible Esteem (where Jeremy Renner can also return) role. The extent of the role he will play has yet to be determined, but McQuarrie himself is a fan of the show and given that he was the one who decided Kittridge’s voice cameo was a bad idea, the director will no doubt ensure that the character leaves a major impact.
- Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 (2023)Release date: July 14, 2023
- Mission: Impossible 8 (2024)Release date: June 28, 2024
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