Director Christopher McQuarrie abandoned plans to digitally de-age Tom Cruise for the opening sequence in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Computer effects have de-aged a number of veteran stars in recent years, with Harrison Ford the most recent to be taken back to his youth for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
McQuarrie initially wanted to pull a similar trick with the 61-year-old action star in Dead Reckoning but found the effect too distracting.
“Originally, there had been a whole sequence at the beginning of the movie that was going to take place in 1989,” the filmmaker told GamesRadar+ and Total Film. “We talked about it as a cold open, we talked about it as flashbacks in the movie, we looked at de-ageing.”
However, while researching the effect, he found the results too variable – and so he decided that they would divert attention away from the plot.
“One of the big things about (de-ageing) I was looking at while researching, I kept saying, ‘Boy, this de-ageing is really good’ or ‘This de-ageing is not so good,'” McQuarrie explained. “Never did I find myself actually following the story… I was so distracted by an actor that I had known for however long was now suddenly this young person.”
Despite the Mission: Impossible films’ reputation for utilising practical effects, the director is not ruling out using the approach for future instalments, as he believes he’s worked out how to make de-ageing effective.
“In researching that, I cracked the code – I think – on how best to approach it,” McQuarrie added. “By then, we had kind of moved away from it. We may still play with it. We never say never.”
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is in cinemas now.
– Cover Media