Fan Love for "Mission Impossible"

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures Entertainment
November 1st, 2012

Fan Love for "Mission Impossible"

-- Most movie franchises depend on loyal fans to be able to keep the series running. The "Mission Impossible" movie franchise is right up there with some of the most recognizable films due to its thrilling plots and memorable theme song that almost everyone knows. The set of "Mission Impossible" films was first inspired by an American television series of the same name, which ran in the 1960s, 1970s, and very briefly at the end of the 1980s. The television series was largely a success, with many original fans calling for a movie to be made. The first proposal for a "Mission Impossible" movie came in 1978 but was shot down. Several other attempts were made during the 1980s, and the television series was rebooted for a couple of seasons. Finally, in 1996 actor Tom Cruise convinced Paramount Pictures, which owned the rights to the television series, that a movie series of the iconic show could be a major hit. Since "Mission: Impossible" was released in 1996, the film series has gone from strength to strength, with "Mission: Impossible II" released in 2000, "Mission: Impossible III" in 2006, and finally "Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol" in 2011. Due to the overall success of the franchise, plans are underway to shoot a fifth film, with Tom Cruise set to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt.

"Mission: Impossible"

The first film of the franchise, "Mission: Impossible," entered uncharted waters. Tom Cruise, who came up with the idea to make the movie, starred as the lead character, Ethan Hunt. Also onboard were director Brian De Palma as well as Jon Voight and Vanessa Redgrave in supporting roles. The plot sees Hunt being accused of murdering fellow IMF agents and selling government secrets to a character simply known as Max. "Mission: Impossible" was well received by movie critics and ended up becoming the third-highest grossing film of 1996. The "Mission Impossible" theme song was a hit on music charts worldwide and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. In terms of revenue, "Mission: Impossible" claimed over $450 million globally, leading to a second film four years later.

"Mission: Impossible II"

"Mission: Impossible II" was released in 2000. Tom Cruise once again reprised his role as Ethan Hunt, but a new director was hired: John Woo. Thandie Newton plays the role of Hunt's love interest, Nyah. The main antagonist is Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich, played by Rade Serbedzija. The film's plot is concerned with a deadly virus that Hunt must prevent from being released to the general population. Movie critics gave a mixed response to the film, but moviegoers decided otherwise. The film was declared a box-office hit and was the highest grossing film of 2000. Revenue exceeded that of the first film at close to $550 million worldwide.

"Mission: Impossible III"

After a six-year hiatus, the "Mission Impossible" film series returned in 2006 with the release of "Mission: Impossible III." Once again a new director was brought onboard, with J. J. Abrams given his first film directing role. Tom Cruise returned as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, while Philip Seymour Hoffman played the chief villain, Owen Davian. Between the previous film and this one, Hunt has retired from the IMF, only to return as an agent to find his kidnapped wife. This installment of the series received largely positive reviews from the critics, although the movie has earned the lowest revenue of the franchise, at just short of $400 million. Despite this, the movie was declared a hit and remained in the top ten at the box office for six weeks after its release.

"Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol"

The fourth movie of the "Mission Impossible" franchise was the first to be shot using IMAX cameras. The director of the previous installment, J. J. Abrams, became a producer while Brad Bird took over the direction reins. Tom Cruise continued his role of Ethan Hunt, and Paula Patton played his team leader, Jane Carter. This movie focuses on the prospect of a global nuclear war that Hunt and his IMF team must stop. The movie critics loved this offering from the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, with many declaring it to be a resounding success. Further, the movie became the highest-grossing "Mission Impossible" film worldwide and the fifth-highest grossing film of 2011, with almost $700 million in revenue. Movie audiences were not expected to react so warmly to a Tom Cruise film due to him being older, but this film has since become the highest-grossing movie starring Cruise. Due to the unprecedented success of "Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol," Paramount is looking to produce a fifth installment of this famous series very soon.