The following story contains very mild spoilers for Chris McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible -- Fallout. Only read on if you managed to see the movie (and if you haven't seen the movie, for real, go do that now)!
Mission: Impossible -- Fallout is a continuation of the story that Chris McQuarrie started in Rogue Nation. But there are plot threads picked up in this movie that date all the way back to Mission: Impossible 3, when we first met Julia (Michelle Monaghan), the love of Ethan Hunt's life. Early trailers hinted at the fact that Monaghan's character would return in Fallout, and those who have seen the movie know the pivotal role that she plays. But there's a subtle moment between Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Julia near the end of Fallout that is never elaborated on. So during the press junket for Fallout in Paris, I took the time to ask McQuarrie, Ferguson and Monaghan what Ilsa whispers to Julia, and got the greatest responses:
Ah, the harmless lies and misdirections that are told at a press event. I love that Christopher McQuarrie, the first person I asked the question to, denied having any knowledge. Only to later be told by Rebecca Ferguson, who DID the whispering, that McQ absolutely knows what is said. And then there was the moment with Michelle Monaghan on the Mission: Impossible -- Fallout red carpet, where she goes more into the number of times that the actresses played with that scene... even though it will be a secret that (for now) dies with the lovely ladies.
The scene is so very important in the context of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Though it was teased in marketing that Julia returns, we didn't know the extent of the role the character would play in the finale. And it's her presence, I'd argue, that pushes Ethan (Tom Cruise) to extreme lengths to stop the villain... thereby saving Julia -- and countless others. But when it's clear that Ethan and Julia will not reunite, the whisper acts as a passing of the baton, finally, from Julia to Ilsa. And if there's a new Mission movie, I expect Ilsa and Ethan to be a spy-smashing power couple.
What do you think might be said, or shared, in the whisper moment? Did you catch it while it happened? If not, go back and see Mission: Impossible -- Fallout again. Preferably in IMAX this time. It's one of the most rewarding sequels in theaters this year, and an excellent continuation to what has been a blisteringly entertaining franchise.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and 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.