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(The following story contains spoilers from Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. The following interviews were all conducted at the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One American premiere in New York on Monday, July 10, before the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike.)
In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part OneTom Cruise and his Impossible Missions Force take on an all-powerful rogue form of artificial intelligence, known as The Entity, who has the ability to manipulate people, weapons, and various defense systems.
In the film, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his team of Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg), Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and newcomer Grace (Hayley Atwell) try to prevent the Entity from falling into the hands of wrong, going after various power brokers who want to acquire and control this dangerous technology.
AND The showdown starts first arrives in theaters at a time of great concern about the real-world threat posed by artificial intelligence, even in Hollywood, where restrictions on what the technology can and cannot be used for in movies and TV are at the heart of ongoing labor disputes between striking writers and actors, studios and streamers.
Talking with The Hollywood Reporter to the Showdown US premiere in New York last week, ahead of SAG-AFTRA’s strike on Thursday, director Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote the screenplay with Erik Jendresen, as well as stars Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson, said he was surprised at how the film went from dealing with what seemed like a sci-fi threat to dealing with a potentially dangerous technology now very much in the public discourse.
“I remember (McQuarrie) talking about it at the beginning, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really good sci-fi idea.’ Mission Impossible it’s always had that sci-fi feel to it, you know, because technology is always way ahead of where we are. And I felt that’s really the point. That’s a clever idea,” Pegg recalled. “Naturally, the AI conversation has been magnified in the time we’ve been making this film. So it’s coming up at a time where it’s in the social discourse. very current.
McQuarrie was aware of the threat posed by “information technology” when he started work at the seventh Mission Impossible episode in 2018, but admits he’s worried about how it’s evolved.
“It was something that was going from being an abstract idea to something that people understood,” he said of AI in 2018. … Watching as film and technology evolve at the same rate is something else entirely.
Ferguson admits that while working on the film she didn’t realize that the on-screen adversary would be a real-life concern as she now acknowledges.
“Artificial intelligence is obviously something we’re fighting,” Ferguson said, referring to the writers’ strike and what was then a potential actors’ strike. “And people are afraid. We live in a world where AI is going to be merged into our world and we need to see where we fit into it and how it works and that it doesn’t just stomp on our work.
Esai Morales, who plays a human adversary in the film, joked that he has a special connection to artificial intelligence with the letters “a” and “i” in his name, before saying, in all seriousness, that the technology is “something we have to be very careful about”.
“It may be a blessing, but it’s like fire, right? How you use it is everything,” she said.
The showdown starts first is also hitting theaters after a multi-year filming process that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cast and crew facing at least five arrests due to the virus, which both Cruise and McQuarrie contracted.
After the challenges of making the film, Cruise and Co. were happy that the film was finally finished and ready to hit theaters.
“It’s such a relief that we finally get to share it with everyone,” Atwell said DAY.
“It was a challenge to make the film, but, in some ways, the nature of that challenge was channeled into the film itself,” said Pegg. DAY. “I feel that our determination to make the film is reflected in the film. Tom saw the pandemic as an existential threat to cinema and decided to deal with it and not let it get there, which I think was absolutely the right thing to do. We went into it with intelligence and care, and we understood how a film is made in a pandemic”.
Saying it was “surreal” to see his years of work unfold, McQuarrie said: “It was just about focusing on the work that was right in front of you and assuming that one day we’d be here talking. It’s pretty amazing.
Despite dealing with the contemporary challenges of AI and the pandemic, Showdown reaches in Mission Impossible past, bringing back Henry Czerny’s Kittridge for the first time since the first film in 1996, a request the actor said he initially thought “was a joke.”
“I got my first call in 1995 – I was in Brazil – they wanted me to come and make their Kittridge. And (this time) I was running my errands in LA like any middle-class person would, and I got a call from my rep saying they wanted to bring Kittridge back, and I thought it was a joke. Then, two days later, I’m talking to Chris McQuarrie about his plan to bring Kittridge back, and we’re going to give it some seriousness, and we’re going to give it some weight on the 25 years that Washington has been through, and we want to see that relationship between Ethan and Kittridge. You will do it? How about that?” he recalled, speaking at the July 10 premiere. “Anything other than “yes” with an exclamation point would send you to an asylum.”
Working with McQuarrie, Czerny experienced the director’s off-the-cuff approach to filmmaking, which he described as “fantastic” but initially “bewildering”.
“I’m used to, you know, you have three takes. We’re going to do a master, medium, close up or some variety, and it’s great when they do that variety. The camera will do half of the work for you or most of the work for you,” Czerny said. “With Chris, he allows, he encourages the actor into the scene to bring whatever he wants, and he’ll take care of it in the editing room, and by pact, I mean stick to that. He wants it. He’s actually going to alter the character arcs depending on what people might bring to the franchise, to the installment.
Mission: Impossible 7 is only the first part of a two-film story that will continue with the eighth film in the series, The showdown part twowhich was in production before the actors’ strike.
Teasing the eighth film, McQuarrie said, “I can confidently say it’s even crazier,” while Czerny said he said the upcoming film “is going to be even better” than the seventh installment.