Although Ethan Hunt is the main protagonist of the Mission: Impossible movies, as the film series has progressed, more focus has been shifted to him being part of a team. Ethan's a skilled spy, but without his teammates, it's safe to say all his onscreen missions would have been disasters. One of Ethan's current allies is Ilsa Faust, who Rebecca Ferguson reprised earlier this year in Fallout. The character has proven popular among Mission: Impossible fans, which led to speculation that Ilsa might get her own spinoff. Director Christopher McQuarrie confirmed that idea had been discussed, but it's unlikely such a project would ever be made given how important the team dynamic is in the Mission: Impossible movies. McQuarrie explained:
Rebecca and I have talked about it, [producer] Jake Myers and I have talked about it, Tom [Cruise] and I have talked about it, it's this ... the spinoff, when we talked about it was like, what would the movie be? We've talked about many Mission spinoffs, it's not just about Ilsa. Mission is so much about the exploits of this character. What would the spinoffs then be shaped like? Would they still be Mission: Impossible movies? So much of what defines Mission is the fact that Tom Cruise is doing all of these crazy things.
Certain film franchises lend themselves to being spun off or even forming a cinematic universe, but as Christopher McQuarrie sees it, Mission: Impossible is not one of those franchises. Even though Ethan Hunt works with others to stop the forces of evil, he's still the leading character in these movies. So with a spinoff, whether Ilsa Faust is leading it or someone else, there would inevitably be concern about Tom Cruise's absence. With that in mind, McQuarrie and his ilk think it's better to keep Ilsa and Ethan's other allies around for the main Mission: Impossible adventures.
However, just because Ilsa Faust likely won't lead her own Mission: Impossible spinoff, that doesn't mean that Christopher McQaurrie doesn't have big plans in mind for Rebeca Ferguson. During his interview with Collider, McQuarrie also mentioned that he's interested in developing something else for the actress to headline, saying:
Rebecca and I were talking about it, and I said, 'I've got a better idea. You're Rebecca, like let's give you your identity,' and I'm developing stuff with Rebecca to be Rebecca. And that's what I would like to see. I feel like if you make an Ilsa spinoff, it would always be like, 'When's Ethan gonna make his cameo?' And the thing that's not to be underestimated about the role of Ilsa Faust, is that she is played by Rebecca Ferguson, who is a star. And it is a star that a lot of people haven't figured out, haven't woken up to that fact. And I'm kind of at her service. We have such a good working relationship, she's very trusting, there were many, many times where I'm like, 'I can't really explain to you what's happening, 'cause I don't know what's happening in the next scene, but I need you do to this emotion right now,' and she's like, 'Yeah, okay, I'll do it, I don't really know what you're talking about, but I know what you need.'
After being brought into Rogue Nation as a foil for Ethan Hunt, Ilsa Faust returned in Fallout, and while she and Ethan once again found themselves on rocky terms initially, by the end of the movie they seemed to be in a good place. There's no word yet on if Mission: Impossible 7 will get the green light, but if it does, one would imagine that Ilsa will remain an important player. As for if Christopher McQuarrie will develop something separate for Rebecca Ferguson to star in, the director later added that he has a specific project in mind for her that's a remake of an existing film or TV series that could be made with a reasonable budget. So if that gets off the ground, we'll be sure to let you know.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage about the Mission: Impossible film series, and be sure to look though our 2018 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater for the rest of the year accordingly.