Mission: Impossible Director Chris McQuarrie Reveals Meaning Behind Dead Reckoning Titles

Fans are a little less than a year away from the highly-anticipated seventh Mission: Impossible movie,  Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. The film wrapped production last September, and the cast and crew are already filming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two. Franchise star Tom Cruise revealed the titles for the films earlier this year during CinemaCon's Paramount Pictures panel. While the first four movies in the franchise all had different directors, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie will be tackling the next two installments. During a recent chat with Light the Fuse, a Mission: Impossible podcast, McQuarrie teased the meaning behind the Dead Reckoning title.

"When I came up with the title, I knew it applied more to Part Two than it did to Part One, which is why it eventually settled on being Part One and Part Two," McQuarrie explained. "The title for the first movie was nearly ... a title that referred to something like a Ghost Protocol kind of thing, it was a government policy – It wasn't a government policy, it was a government, what would you call it? A government measure of last resort, with catastrophic consequences. By the time we got to the end of Part One, that had distilled down into an entirely different set of circumstances that appear in Part Two and not in Part One. So, the word would no longer have been appropriate for the title of Part One."

He continued, "And yet, Dead Reckoning didn't really apply as well to Part One as well as it did to Part Two until we started to play with the beginning of the movie, and kind of recognize that Dead Reckoning, while it sounded cool, what did it really have to do with the movie? And over the course of our, really starting to dig down into the arc of the character journey for Ethan [Hunt], it took on deeper and deeper meanings as we went. And you'll see just how thematic and how it represents, how it's conceptually represented in every character's journey in this film we're in."

Earlier this year, it was reported that the next two movies be the "culmination" of Cruise's role. According to VarietyPart One ends on a cliffhanger, and Cruise wants to have Part Two completed before the seventh film is released so the transition between them is seamless. As of February, the eighth film was about to enter production in South Africa

The seventh installment will see the return of Cruise as well as Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby. Franchise newcomers will include Marvel's Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff. Last year, it was announced that Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2), Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), and Mark Gatiss (Sherlockwould be joining the cast. Henry Czerny, who played Kittridge in the first Mission: Impossible, will be making his first franchise appearance since 1996.

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The release dates for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two are July 14, 2023, and June 28, 2024, respectively.