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Mission: Impossible 7 director considered Julia Roberts for de-aged opening sequence

US Premiere of Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Christopher Mcquarrie

Christopher McQuarrie wanted to cast a digitally de-aged Julia Roberts in the scrapped opening sequence at the start of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

Earlier this month, the filmmaker revealed he abandoned plans to digitally de-age his leading man Tom Cruise for a cold open, which was ultimately scrapped because he felt the effect was too distracting.

During a recent appearance on The Empire Spoiler Special Film Podcast, McQuarrie shared that he considered asking Roberts to appear in that sequence too.

“I said, ‘OK, if I were doing this sequence, it would be Tom in, say, 1989. It would be (director) Tony Scott’s Mission: Impossible. That’s who would have been directing the movie before Brian De Palma (who directed 1996’s Mission: Impossible), you know, in that era,” he explained. “I looked back at who was the ingenue, who was the breakout star in 1989? And right around then was Mystic Pizza. And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Julia Roberts, a then-pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts, as this young woman.’

“And of course, as you’re conceptually going through it, you’re like, ‘Now all anybody’s going to be doing is thinking about the de-aging of Julia Roberts, and Esai (Morales), and Tom, and Henry Czerny.'”

McQuarrie ended up shooting a flashback featuring Cruise watching Esai Morales’ villain murder his girlfriend, who was played by Mariela Garriga.

The filmmaker also admitted it would have been too expensive to de-age two huge A-list stars.

“I got the bill for de-ageing those people before their salaries were even factored into it,” McQuarrie shared. “And if you put two of them in a shot together, or three of them in a shot together, it would have been as expensive as the train by the time we were done.”

Mission: Impossible 7, which is in cinemas now, features a setpiece involving a train, which was built from scratch and crashed for real.

– Cover Media