‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ director explains the title’s ominous meaning


Much like the Fast & Furious franchise, Mission: Impossible one day decided that it was going to give its sequels a myriad of unconnected titles to freshen up the numerical formula, with the two-part spectacular Dead Reckoning boasting the most ominous yet.

Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, and Fallout are all excellent monikers in their own right, and they also happen to be three of the finest action blockbusters of the 21st Century, so the bar has been set very high for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in more ways than one for his seventh outing.

Not that we don’t think returning director Christopher McQuarrie is going to deliver based on the evidence, but what makes Dead Reckoning such a barnburner of a title that it has to be split into two parts? The filmmaker obviously didn’t go into specifics, but he did shed some light on the matter during an interview with Empire.

“There are many things emerging from Ethan’s past. ‘Dead reckoning’ is a navigational term. It means you’re picking a course based solely on your last known position and that becomes quite the metaphor not only for Ethan, but several characters. The first thing we knew was that if it’s gonna be a big two-part adventure, it’s got to be epic. It’s going to have to be the installment that swallows the rest of the franchise whole. There’s just not another way to do it.”

Consider our appetites even more whetted than before, then, especially when Dead Reckoning is one of the longest-delayed movies on the calendar having suffered through a torturous production that dragged on for close to two full years. Expect Tom Cruise doing Tom Cruise things as he faces up to… you know, a dead reckoning.

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