Rebecca Ferguson Ilsa Faust

Christopher McQuarrie explains why an Ilsa spinoff might not work for Mission: Impossible

Contributed by
Sep 27, 2018

Mission: Impossible - Fallout, the sixth installment in the popular action franchise, is now the top box office earner in the series so far, ensuring that Tom Cruise and his team will very likely launch more missions in the future. More than two decades into these films, though, there's always a chance that future installments won't just focus on Cruise's Ethan Hunt as the star. Is it time for Mission: SpinoffFallout writer/director Christopher McQuarrie doesn't think so. 

Speaking at a recent screening of Fallout hosted by Collider, McQuarrie was asked about the rumored and proposed spinoffs for the franchise, including what seems to be the most popular spinoff choice right now: A film focused on Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust, who first appeared in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and made a triumphant return in Fallout. An Ilsa film would certainly allow a younger star to take the reins from Cruise as the films move forward, and Ferguson definitely has the chops to make it work. McQuarrie confirmed during a Q&A that the possibility of an Ilsa film has been discussed, the but then explained why he'd rather do something else that allows Ferguson to shine.

“Rebecca and I were talking about it, and I said, ‘I’ve got a better idea. You’re Rebecca, like let’s give you your identity,’ and I’m developing stuff with Rebecca to be Rebecca. And that’s what I would like to see," McQuarrie said. "I feel like if you make an Ilsa spinoff, it would always be like, ‘When’s Ethan gonna make his cameo?’ And the thing that’s not to be underestimated about the role of Ilsa Faust, is that she is played by Rebecca Ferguson, who is a star. And it is a star that a lot of people haven’t figured out, haven’t woken up to that fact. And I’m kind of at her service. We have such a good working relationship, she’s very trusting, there were many, many times where I’m like, ‘I can’t really explain to you what’s happening, ’cause I don’t know what’s happening in the next scene, but I need you do to this emotion right now,’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll do it, I don’t really know what you’re talking about, but I know what you need.’”

McQuarrie went on to say that he feels the same way about other Mission characters, like Simon Pegg's Benji, and noted he would love to see each of the actors "put into a role that was not bound to this universe." As for what that role is for Ferguson, McQuarrie couldn't say much other than he's already found it, and it's a remake of some kind.

“It’s a remake, and it’s so good. It’s a remake. And I’m one who’s like, ‘Don’t remake movies, unless,’ and it’s a very good movie, but a deeply flawed one, and you could just make a little change and put Rebecca Ferguson in and it’d be awesome…"

So, if McQuarrie has his way (and his close working relationship with Cruise suggests that, for the moment, he does) we will not be seeing an Ilsa Faust movie, but we could be seeing more opportunities for Rebecca Ferguson to shine, even beyond her upcoming roles in Doctor Sleep and Dune. What do you think? Is McQuarrie right about the Mission spinoffs, and if he isn't, who should get their own movie?

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