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Film Part of the Mission: Impossible Dream Team

  • July 30, 2015

Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, facing his most blisteringly impossible mission yet, in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the constantly accelerating action-thriller series. The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, The Usual Suspects), with Oscar®-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, ASC behind the camera (There Will Be Blood, Inherent Vice) and story by McQuarrie and Drew Pearce. Cruise and J.J. Abrams also worked on the film as producers.

The story kicks off with Hunt uncovering the unwelcome reality that a rogue nation called The Syndicate is not only real, but a ticking time bomb about to detonate worldwide if he doesn’t act. The CIA doesn’t buy it, and Hunt’s own team is under threat. Every quality that has made him indispensable is tested as he faces the ultimate nemesis: his ability to move deliberately in heart-stopping circumstances, his finesse travelling glamorous global locales, and his desire to see evil punished and good prevail.

“I wanted this film to pull together the Dream Team of Mission: Impossible and give all the members of the IMF a major role,” says McQuarrie about the film. “Each of the four movies so far has had a different team dynamic - but for this one, I wanted to reach back into the franchise to bring back the best of them all to create a kind of super group of players.”

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was shot on Kodak 35mm. “Robert Elswit was indispensable,” says McQuarrie. “He was the one who would always ask that one pointed question that immediately pointed out our blind spots. He really pushed me out of all my usual tried-and-true processes to try things in different, revealing ways. Thanks in large part to him, I had a completely different process coming out of this movie than going in.”

Rogue, aside from an underwater scene, was shot on KODAK VISION3 200T Color Negative Film 5213 and KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negatives Film 5219 with Panavision equipment and lenses. In an interview with HDVideoPro, Elswit told Ian Blair that "we didn't consider going digital, as neither Tom nor Chris really like the look. You can shoot digital and find a LUT that will mimic the film look, but they both wanted the real film look. And Tom just doesn't like the way digital capture looks, even when it's manipulated.

“Shooting film also had the benefit of making post ‘far quicker,’” the DP related during the same interview. "It was originally scheduled for a Christmas release, and now it's a summer release. And, in a way, it's easier to find the look of the movie if you shot film initially. It's less labor-intensive in post."

Cruise has had major influence and involvement with the development of the Mission: Impossible franchise. He and McQuarrie worked closely to perfect the script and pack the story into every shot of this film. Based on the action on screen, audiences are in for a thrilling ride when Rogue hits theaters this summer.