Tom Cruise and cast of 'M:I 7' light up Rome for world premiere, director says franchise will end when people 'are no longer entertained'

Tom Cruise and cast of ‘M:I 7’ light up Rome for world premiere, director says franchise will end when people ‘are no longer entertained’

The lucky few managed to snatch a Mission impossible 7-branded umbrella. There were dozens of them, neatly arranged on the marble railing of the Spanish Steps, the majestic Spanish Steps in Rome that are no stranger to major social events, but are rarely found at the center of a world premiere like this one: The arch Of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, first part.

For all the others – and we are talking about thousands of people, of all ages and nationalities – all that remains is to shelter from the scorching sun, which melts the make-up of fans, journalists and influencers – Tik Tok-ers are there to the left of the Barcaccia fountain — similar. They spent more than half an hour photographing the square, with their studied poses and skimpy, shiny clothes.

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The undisputed protagonist of this very hot Roman afternoon is Tom Cruise. That quintessential action actor, who, despite being nearly 61 years old, continues to amaze the world with increasingly swashbuckling stunts and seemingly inexhaustible crazy energy. Cruise even managed, in his Rome tour de force, to find time to dwell on Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who, rather lamely, claimed that “Mission: Impossible” is what his government faces every day.

But back to the Spanish Steps, to the sweltering crowd of onlookers on the red carpet, the boisterous screams and the cauldron of sweat and excitement that rises above those huge LED screens and can be heard above the “Top Secret” drum corps in M:I 7 uniforms displayed on the steps, giving the event the air of a military tattoo.

After descending the steps, Cruise makes the semicircle of the red carpet running around the famous Barcaccia fountain: 36 slots representing the entire world gathered here for the world premiere of one of the last great blockbuster franchises still standing.

THE M:I 7 the red carpet, just like the Roman Colosseum, has a strict pecking order. Above, next to the Trinità dei Monti church, there is an area dedicated to the chosen few: those who are allowed a long face-to-face with Cruise, who signs every single autograph, shakes every hand, poses for every selfie. Below is an almost uncontrolled rabble of second-rate fans, jostling and tussling for their moment with the star.

Cruise, of course, is unflappable. He throws himself into the crowd. “I’ve always made films for the public and for theatres, for distributors and for the big screen,” he says THR Rome. “I love this experience, I’ve always studied new technologies and all the ways to involve viewers at every level and make it (the big screen) more engaging and fun. I’ve always wanted to make films and travel the world, to have this opportunity, and that’s what I want to keep doing.”

Addressing his fans directly, Cruise recalls the struggles the team has faced M:I 7, which fired at the height of the COVID lockdowns. “You have to see the film, we ran through these streets in a difficult moment for everyone (pandemic and lockdown). I feel lucky to be here, and if there hadn’t been a team of people who made it possible we wouldn’t have been able to create a story like this. The movie is an epic adventure, filled with real action, we really ‘rocked’ in that car.”

He points to the yellow Fiat 500, the protagonist of one of the most exciting and exquisitely Roman scenes in the film, parked a few meters away. A car is described as “a challenge” even for someone like Cruise, used to doing his stunts on jets, helicopters, motorcycles and race cars. “Driving on the cobblestones of Rome, it was fantastic! Hayley (Atwell) was very brave to be in the car with me, I kept reassuring her ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you’, but it wasn’t easy.

“It’s great to be back here in Rome,” says director Christopher McQuarrie. “It fills me with joy to have been here when it was empty during the pandemic and to see the streets today so full of people and life. I have never felt happier being stuck in traffic!

M:I 7 is the first of a two parter, with The showdown part two scheduled for release next year. But McQuarrie, who has led the last three ME movie, says he has no plans to walk away and sees no reason to stop the franchise now. “Mission Impossible it will end when the audience is no longer entertained,” he says. Judging by the reception of M:I 7 in Rome, it really seems like an impossible mission.