Watch Chris McQuarrie Describe The Most Impossible Stunt In Mission: Impossible

How would you rank the stunts in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? I’m not going to argue with you if you put the airplane sequence, or the motorcycle chase pretty high on your own personal list. But for me, the moment that elevated the latest Mission to an All-Star status was the underwater sequence, where Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt needs to hold his breath for 3 minutes to obtain… well, I’ll hold off from revealing what, just in case for some odd reason you haven’t seen Mission: Impossible yet. For those of you who HAVE seen the movie, here’s an in-depth and technical discussion of the underwater sequence in question with the director, Christopher McQuarrie. It’s a must watch!

Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise are becoming a formidable duo. The two have worked on five movies together, including Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow and this latest Mission. There are some who are arguing that McQuarrie’s phone should be ringing now that Paramount has agreed to move ahead with a sixth

movie (thanks to some well-deserved box office tallies over the weekend).

What I love about this conversation is how adept McQuarrie is about thinking on the fly. As he points out, they started with the concept of having Ethan Hunt in a lengthy underwater sequence. But knowing that the scene could produce so much more than that, McQuarrie the Screenwriter started to factor in ways for other characters in the story to participate. So we got Simon Pegg’s character, Benji, having to pass through a hallway with facial and body-language recognition. And from everything that we have been hearing, it was Tom Cruise’s idea that Ethan eventually would drown (and die), with Rebecca Ferguson’s character – Ilsa Faust – diving in to rescue him at the last minute.


Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation continues the story of the IMF, this time pitting them against The Syndicate… an anti-IMF led by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). Audiences, thankfully, embraced this latest mission, meaning Tom Cruise will be able to get the team back together very soon. The underwater sequence isn’t online in full, but you can see a snippet of it in trailers:

However, like the rest of Rogue Nation, it really needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, so if you haven’t yet, get going!

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.