Why Tom Cruise Wanted Mission: Impossible Fallout To Reveal Its Villain In The Trailers

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Warning: SPOILERS for Mission: Impossible - Fallout are ahead!

Paramount Pictures dropped the first trailer for Mission: Impossible - Fallout during the Super Bowl back in February, and as is the case with most major motion pictures, other previews followed in the months after. Now Fallout is playing in theaters, and judging by its commercial performance, that advertising enticed a lot of people to see the movie in theaters. The biggest new character introduced in Fallout was Henry Cavill's August Walker, the badass CIA operative with a mustache so powerful that it can damage other blockbusters. However, Walker was eventually outed in Fallout as the main antagonist, but if Tom Cruise wanted that twist to be revealed in the movie's trailers so that audiences wouldn't think that Walker and Ethan Hunt would become friendly with one another. Director Christopher McQuarrie recalled:

He goes, 'Here's the one thing I don't want. I don't want the audience to be disappointed when they find out he's a bad guy.' He said, 'If we set up Hunt and Walker wrong, the audience is going to be expecting them to be buddies at the end of the film. And if we get to the end of the film and that's disappointing, we're dead. However you create this dynamic, just let them know that this is not the beginning of a beautiful friendship. This is all gonna end badly.' And he was right. His instincts were absolutely right.

August Walker was brought into Mission: Impossible - Fallout as the Special Activities Division agent assigned by CIA director Erica Sloane to keep an eye on Ethan Hunt and his IMF team while they tried to track down the plutonium cores stolen by the Apostles, who intended to sell them to fundamentalist John Lark. So if you paid attention to Fallout's marketing, you might have gotten a sense that although they were working together, Walker and Ethan would not get along, as least for the first chunk of the movie. But if Tom Cruise had gotten his way, the Fallout trailers would have established that Walker was John Lark from the get-go. Christopher McQuarrie added during his interview on The Empire Film Podcast that Paramount decided instead to try to hide the fact that August Walker was one of the main villain, at least for the first trailer or two, due to spoiler concerns.

Along with August Walker, a.k.a. John Lark, Mission: Impossible - Fallout brought back former Syndicate leader Solomon Lane, and after Walker was outed as the real Lark (following a failed attempt to frame Ethan Hunt as Lark), the two villains escaped and tried to detonate two nuclear weapons in Kashmir that would irradiate 1/3 of the world population's water supply. As has happened in the previous Mission: Impossible movies, Ethan and his team ended up saving the day, and Walker/Lark met a nasty end. Whether or not Paramount made the right decision holding back Walker's true affiliation from the marketing is up for debate, although I doubt I was the only one who walked into the movie wondering if the character would take a villainous turn.

Don't forget to read CinemaBlend's review and To 3D guide for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates concerning the Mission: Impossible franchise's future. You can also look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.