Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The original Mission Impossible launched in 1996 – starring none other than Tom Cruise. The over the top stunts, supporting casts, and great story line set the film up for many sequential films to follow the original. The infamous phrase, “Your mission – should you choose to accept it” has become a popular film line.

Despite each installment’s hype, there are still many things about the Mission Impossible Blockbusters that many fans do not know. Shocker, huh? Considering Ethan Hunt has been the gateway for so many action packed films.

  1. Prior to hiring Brian De Palma as director, cruise worked with director Sydney Pollack on the first installment; however Pollack is uncredited in the final release.
  2. Many of the action packed scenes were actually dreamed up before the story was written. This dilemma forced screenwriters to construct narratives around the action.
  3. Apple spent $15 million to sponsor Mission Impossible. However, Cruise’s character Hunt uses a PowerBook 5300c in the film despite another characters reluctance. Weeks after the PowerBook was recalled, the film featuring the computer was highly profiled on the big screen.
  4. Mission Impossible was one of the first big budget Hollywood films to shoot in Prague. During filming the crew made use of Charles Bridge, Lichtenstein Palace, and Old Town Square.
  5. During the popular train scene, filmed with Cruise and Voight, a fan was used to produce winds up to 140 mph to distort Cruise’s face while he was riding on top of the train.
  6. The film was originally scored by Alan Silvestri – famously known for his work on Back to the Future. However, when the music was tested with audiences it did poorly. Later, Danny Elfman was hired. It’s rumored that Silvestri used the same elements of the score, that he used for Mission Impossible, when he was hired in 1996 to score Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film Eraser.
  7. When Cruise filmed the infamous 2,000 foot cliff scene in Moab there was no protection on the ground and Cruise completed the stunt by himself. The jump he covered measured to about 15 feet – Cruise admitted later, in interviews, that he injured his shoulder while doing it.
  8. Director Jon Woo originally wanted to cast Ian McKellen in the role of Swanbeck, but he wasn’t available. Anthony Hopkins ended up accepting the role.
  9. The famous shot of a dove flying through the fire was computer animated.
  10. When you saw Cruise riding through a line of fire on his motorcycle – well, guess what? That is not a stunt double – that is Cruise. Get this, when he appears to be skiing on the road and when the motorcycle is being towed behind a truck – well folk…that’s Cruise too!
  11. In interviews, Woo has mentioned that the influences for the film included West Side Story and Ivanhoe.
  12. After watching a 2 a.m. re-run of Alias, Cruise became obsessed with the idea of J.J. Abrams directing a Mission Impossible installment.
  13. Ethan Hunt’s house is modeled directly after Abrams’ own home. Remember the scene when Hunt gets a phone call – guess who was on the other line? Abrams of course!
  14. The idea of providing mission information through a disposable camera came from mastermind Steven Spielberg.
  15. Originally the death scene with Lindsey Farris, played by Kerri Russell, was very gruesome. The scene was cut out - before the final cut, her eye popped out of her head and squirted blood on Hunt’s face.
  16. And the hands shown pulling a bullet out of Kerri Russell’s character’s head were those of Abrams.
  17. Former MMA fighter Buster Reeves was the fight coordinator and stunt man on the film. He made several appearances and played various characters. Since Mission Impossible 3, Reeves has served as Tom Hardy’s stunt double and as the stunt coordinator for HBO’s first season of Game of Thrones.
  18. In the beginning, the film’s title wasn’t supposed to include the words “mission” and “impossible.” Variety reported that Paramount was considering to name the film Mission.

And guess what Mission Impossible groupies? There’s much more where that came from!

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