Hayley Atwell's Mission: Impossible Character Will Be Something She's Never Done Before Says Director

Back in September it was announced that Captain America and Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell had been enlisted in the cast for Mission: Impossible 7, and in that time...there apparently hasn't been much progress on figuring out just what her character will be. That shouldn't imply that the movie is in trouble or that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie doesn't know what he's doing, in fact it's pretty standard operating procedure. Speaking in a new interview, McQuarrie said that while they don't know what kind of character Atwell will play, they'll figure it out by collaborating on the production and deciding who the character will be together, like he did with Vanessa Kirby on Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

"We're just now figuring out what basic elements of those things are (for Atwell's character)," McQuarrie said on the Empire Podcast. "But like with Vanessa Kirby's character, we didn't know who the White Widow was until her first day of shooting. We'd never worked with her before. I'm not interested in getting Vanessa Kirby to play a character that I've created for Vanessa Kirby, I'm interested in creating a character for her based on things she's never done, a side of her as an actor that we've never seen before, and so that's the fun stuff of making a Mission: Impossible. I don't really know who Hayley is. I could tell you who I think she is, but we don't know her name. We haven't figured that out yet, and for all I know she may never have one....You think I'm kidding."

McQuarrie pulled back the curtain even further on the writing process for the seventh Mission: Impossible movie, revealing that it was just last month that he decided on the story for the movie but after that the entire movie came into focus.

"I figured out the story about four weeks ago," he said. "What happens is that over the course of a year while you are developing story arcs for the characters, what we focused on was the emotional story arcs of the characters, and action scenes we were thinking about doing, and scouting all over the world, and you're moving resources around. I really only need to know what the gear is when we get there, I'm concerned less about what the characters are going to say than what they're wearing and what they're driving and making sure that they don't drive into each other unintentionally. And so about a month ago I moved one essential piece of the puzzle....and suddenly I was able to outline the entire movie in eight minutes."

McQuarrie also opened up about how the two films will connect and if there's some kind of cliffhanger from the seventh to the eighth movie, with a surprising answer.

"I don't know....We don't even know if those movies connect yet."

Atwell is set to star alongside Mission: Impossible vets Tom Cruise, Henry Czerny, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby; plus fellow newcomers Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, and Nicholas Hoult.


Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to hit theaters on July 23, 2021. Mission: Impossible 8 is slated for August 25, 2022.