Having directed movies like Scarface and The Untouchables, Brian De Palma may not have been the first name that jumped to minds when thinking of the ideal candidate to helm Mission: Impossible.
The director made a huge splash with his TV to film adaptation in 1996, but he would have no involvement in the five sequels that followed (a sixth and seventh are already being worked on by Christopher McQuarrie). Both II and III were successful, but they also failed to capture the magic of that first effort, and it wasn’t until Ghost Protocol that the series became truly must-see.
De Palma recently spoke to AP News and finally revealed why he wasn’t involved in the sequels.
“Stories, they keep making them longer and longer only for economic reasons,” he explained. “After I made Mission: Impossible, Tom [Cruise] asked me to start working on the next one. I said: ‘Are you kidding?’ One of these is enough. Why would anybody want to make another one?”
“Of course, the reason they make another one is to make money. I was never a movie director to make money, which is the big problem of Hollywood. That’s the corruption of Hollywood.”
It’s hard not to ponder what might have happened had De Palma decided to accept Tom Cruise’s offer. It’s hard to complain about what happened to the franchise as the years passed without the director, though, and sequels obviously aren’t something the outspoken filmmaker is interested in.
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A former Russian spy selling international intelligence on the black market…a list of the top undercover agents in the world…a c orrupt agent doubling for an unknown organization…a mysterious arms dealer…a spy agency ready to disavow the actions or existenc e of any of its members captured or killed…and one man, whose mission seems impossible.