2021 isn’t just the 25th anniversary of the Mission: Impossible film series launching; it also marks 15 years since Mission: Impossible III was released. J.J. Abrams’ first outing as a feature filmmaker saw Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt having retired from IMF field work and living a quieter life with Michelle Monaghan’s Julia Meade. To commentate exactly a decade and a half having recently passed since Mission: Impossible III made its way in front of our eyeballs, Monaghan shared a steamy throwback of her time with Cruise.

With the first two Mission: Impossible movies having given audiences an Ethan Hunt fully committed to stopping bad guys out in the world, it was definitely weird seeing our main protagonist as a domestic man. However, he was clearly happy with Julia Meade, and Michelle Monaghan also enjoyed working with Tom Cruise, as she mentioned when posting some nice Mission: Impossible III pictures on Instagram. Take a look:

Michelle Monaghan had already appeared in some notable movies ahead of Mission: Impossible III, such as The Bourne Supremacy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Still, the opportunity to work with Tom Cruise would leave a lot of actors starstruck, and it sounds like Monaghan found herself in that camp. 15 years later, she still looks back on Mission: Impossible III fondly, hence why it was important she acknowledge this “anniversary.”

Six years passed between the release of Mission: Impossible 2 and Mission: Impossible III, with various directors and actors coming and leaving over the latter movie’s years of development. In addition to J.J. Abrams sitting in the director’s chair and co-writing the script with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the cast included Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell and Maggie Q. Mission: Impossible III, which saw Ethan Hunt tracking down Hoffman’s weapons dealer character, Owen Davian, was met with a solid amount of positive reception and collected approximately $398.5 million worldwide off a $150 million budget.

Although Mission: Impossible III ended with Ethan Hunt and Julia Meade reunited after she’d been kidnapped, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol revealed that she’d been murdered… or rather, that’s how it was made to look. Julia’s death had actually been faked for one of Ethan’s missions, but unfortunately, their marriage ended. Monaghan reprised Julia for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, where she crossed paths with Ethan and his team while she was working at a medical camp in Kashmir with her new husband, Erik.

With two more Mission: Impossible movies on the way, it’s possible Michelle Monaghan could find her way back to this franchise, although Fallout seemed to conclude Ethan and Julia’s story for good. Luckily, there won’t be any shortage of familiar faces participating in Mission: Impossible 7, including Henry Czerny’s Eugene Kittridge, who hasn’t appeared since the first Mission: Impossible movie. Monaghan most recently appeared in Every Breath You Take, and can next be seen in Spinning Gold.

Mission: Impossible 7 opens in theaters on May 27, 2022, and Mission: Impossible 8 will follow on July 7, 2023. Keep track of what’s hitting the big screen later this year with our upcoming 2021 movies schedule.

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