Has Ethan Hunt Earned An On-Screen Death? Tom Cruise And The Mission: Impossible Cast Answer

Tom Cruise is Ethan Hunt

The following story contains mild spoilers for Mission: Impossible -- Fallout. You might want to stop reading until after you have seen the movie. Go see it!

Here's something we'll apparently never see in a Mission: Impossible movie: The death of Ethan Hunt. Oh sure, Ethan (Tom Cruise) has died on screen a couple of times, having to be revived by Julia (Michelle Monaghan) in part three, and by Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) after drowning in Rogue Nation. But I wanted to know if Ethan Hunt deserved an epic on-screen sendoff in the Mission movies, so when CinemaBlend traveled to Paris for the world premiere of Mission: Impossible -- Fallout, I posed that question to the cast and got amazing results. Let's start with the man himself, Tom Cruise, who definitively told us:

No, no. That will never happen. Never. Never.

So there you have it. For as long as Tom Cruise will continue making the Mission: Impossible movies, he will never let Ethan Hunt die on screen. His two-time Mission director Christopher McQuarrie basically agrees, but sees it as a different challenge. The brilliant filmmaker explained to us:

It's interesting. I wouldn't know how to do it. I wouldn't know how to do it in a way that was satisfying. Really, what I think it all comes down to is that you can kill anybody. Any character can die, so long as they die for a reason. You give them a noble death, and I think that's where you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, when a character dies. Was their death noble enough?

Henry Cavill is a newcomer to this franchise with Mission: Impossible -- Fallout, and yet, he's no stranger to killing off a major character in a series' leading role. (See: Superman) He became pensive when I posed this question to him, and he reflected:

There's something to that. But, it would be so heartbreaking. I don't know if that's the right thing to do. It would definitely be a solid sendoff. But there's something about Ethan, that he's earned a death in bed, as an old man. [Laughs]

Do you want to hear what else fellow Mission: Impossible standouts Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Pegg think about killing off Ethan Hunt? Give our exclusive video a spin.

Part of me wants to be able to see Tom Cruise give Ethan Hunt the epic sendoff that he deserves. In an earlier conversation, we played the "Lucky or Talented" game with Ethan, and in Fallout, you see that there are too many times where it feels like his luck finally will run out, sending him back to his maker. Yet, while Simon Pegg and Chris McQuarrie seem intrigued by the concept, Tom Cruise swears it won't ever happen.

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Mission: Impossible -- Fallout is in theaters as we speak. You really need to stop reading this and go see it... again and again.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

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.