Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is one of the biggest blockbusters of 2018. It's an action spectacle full of incredible, breathtaking stunts that on its surface wouldn't seem to have much in common with a black and white movie from 1942. Nevertheless, Christopher McQuarrie slipped in a connection between the modern franchise and one of the greatest films of all time, Casablanca. Rebecca Ferguson's character bears the same name as Ingrid Bergman's character from that iconic film. The Mission: Impossible actress didn't make the connection right away, but she played it off well when she found out earlier in the series, as she explained:
Faust I understood. But Ilsa looked like a spelling mistake. I thought it was meant to say 'Lisa'." She promised herself she would bring it up with McQuarrie. "Then one day, Chris said to me, 'You know, it's like Ilsa in Casablanca, right?' And I said, 'Yes! I knew that. Of course I knew that.'
You can't blame Rebecca Ferguson for thinking that 'Ilsa' was a spelling mistake when she first joined the franchise. It isn't exactly the most common name and you could easily see how it might be a typo, with someone meaning to type 'Lisa' or even misspelling 'Elsa'. Fortunately, writer and director Christopher McQuarrie mentioned the connection to her first, and as Rebecca Ferguson told Gulf News, she played it off like she knew the whole time. Clearly it was not a mistake and more than just being a fun homage and tribute to that classic film; this connection has meaning. Christopher McQuarrie deliberately chose the name 'Ilsa' for the character who first appeared in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, and it's easy to see why.
Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa Lund and Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust both have something of a mysterious, almost femme fatale quality to them. More than just simple love interests, they each have their own goals that aren't exactly in congruence with Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt or Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine. Both of these characters also pop back up into the protagonist's lives unexpectedly. Ilsa Lund is Rick's former lover, and although Ilsa Faust isn't Ethan's former lover exactly, it is safe to say that he has complicated feelings about her after the events of Rogue Nation, which makes his interactions with her in Fallout much more difficult.
I guess we'll have to wait until Mission Impossible 7 to see whether or not Ethan and Ilsa get a happy ending or if it's goodbye and 'Here's looking at you kid.' The whisper at the end makes me think that these two might have a happier ending than their Casablanca counterparts. Rebecca Ferguson and Ingrid Bergman actually share a real life similarity as well, in that they are both Swedish and were both born in Stockholm.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is still playing in theaters. Check it out, and if you've never seen Casablanca, you should definitely do so, because it's a classic for a reason. Take a look at our release calendar for all the biggest movies still to come in 2018, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.