Henry Cavill’s ‘Mission: Impossible - Fallout’ Mustache Was Inspired by a Superman Villain

Batman v Superman and Justice League star Henry Cavill’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout mustache was inspired by little-known DC Comics villain Elias Orr, Cavill told Square Mile.

Orr first appeared in Superman comics in 2004 as a mysterious mercenary who partnered with a weaponized cyborg killer known as Equus, Orr’s bodyguard.

Elias Orr
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

The mustached villain has been in the employ of Superman archfoe Lex Luthor and the U.S. government, where he ran a black-ops organization specializing in military intelligence and combat upgrades. His exploits include creating cybernetically-enhanced super soldiers and running afoul of a future version of Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg.

Cavill famously donned the mustached look for the upcoming Mission: Impossible installment, where he joins the Tom Cruise-led franchise as dangerous CIA agent August Walker. The beefy field operative is tasked with hunting down rogue IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his pack of allies.

The actor was prohibited from shaving his mustache because of contractual obligations in place with Paramount, producers of the Mission: Impossible franchise, as his Fallout duties coincided with the then still-in-the-works superhero assemblage Justice League. Cavill was recruited for reshoots on the Warner Bros. tentpole, where his Superman famously underwent oft-criticized digital retouching to remove Cavill’s facial hair.

Director Christopher McQuarrie explained on Twitter last July Cavill was unable to shave because doing so would affect his work on the stunts and action-heavy Fallout. “The only way to keep a fake ‘stache on Henry Cavill would be a liberal does of staples,” McQuarrie wrote.

The “digital makeup” proved costly for Warner Bros. and Cavill admitted he would have selected another look for Walker so that he may have avoided the controversy. “Had I known the Justice League reshoots were coming I'd have probably made a different choice,” Cavill said.

The removal process, Cavill said, saw the actor don facial prosthetics and motion capture dots allowing digital artists to overlay smooth skin atop his facial hair.

“What we do is we try to put it back on the top lip as much as possible. So they kind of wax it up. And then I had dots all over my face,” Cavill told DC’s Fox 5 in November.

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“And they try to put dots, which are barely visible, sort of in the various points on the face where you would see them during normal… not face replacement, but whatever CGI aspect they may be applying to a face. And, yeah. I was covered in dots, and had a big mustache. It was definitely a new look for Superman.”

Mission: Impossible — Fallout opens July 27.