Friday, May 7, 2010

Mission Impossible Films That Will Never Happen

With the recent announcement that the next Mission Impossible (IV?) is going to be directed by Brad Bird, I thought I'd put out my list of dream Mission Impossible projects. Not that Brad Bird is a bad choice, and if the film is half as good an action movie as The Incredibles, then it will be amazing.

First off, I'm one of the few who really liked the first Mission Impossible film directed by Brian DePalma. Some parts didn't work--the love story--but it's filled with great sequences and it really feels like a DePalma film (split screens, paranoia). I hated the second film but what was cool about it was how much of a John Woo film it was, including John Woo ripping himself off numerous times.

But even though they were batting .500, I loved the concept that each film in the series would have a different director with a very different style. For that reason, I thought J. J. Abrams was a strange choice for the third film because he came from television and had no feature film style to call his own. Despite this, I really liked the third film, even though it felt like a big budget episode of Alias (nothing wrong there).

But I always thought that the concept for the series was great and I wish they'd gone farther with it. So here they are, my top three dream Mission Impossible films, followed by a few other possibilities. And no, I'm not really kidding about these.

Wes Anderson's Mission Impossible

First of all, Jason Schwartzman could play Tom Cruise's estranged brother. He'd be perfect as the fucked-up, insecure brother who was never as successful as Ethan Hunt and maybe got involved in crime. Then you could have a classic Wes Anderson family dynamic. Also, think of the set-pieces that Wes Anderson could devise, utilizing cross sections of government buildings, and elaborate plans (think of the models). I actually believe that this could be really, really good.

Nick Park's Mission Impossible

It would have to be done in claymation but you could use Tom Cruise's voice. I don't think any director has understood how to stage a complex action scene as well as Nick Park. Think of the chicken pie maker scene in Chicken Run. Now imagine little clay secret agents traversing the globe. Who wouldn't see this film?

P. T. Anderson's Mission Impossible

We already know that he can direct Tom Cruise. And we already know that he's an amazing director, especially the fluid way he uses the camera, and how he edits to achieve tension. Think of the firecracker scene in Boogie Nights. Now imagine the potentially dark, riveting spy film he could make.

Those are my top three but I can think of many more directors who would be great. Just off the top of my head:

Quentin Tarantino
David Fincher
Michel Gondry
Alfonso Cuaron
David Lynch
The Coens

Oh, I know that Brad Bird is going to make a live action film, but wouldn't it be great if it was animated in the same style as The Incredibles?

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