Oliver Stone’s Unmade Mission Impossible Idea Was Used in the Best Tom Cruise Franchise Movie That Starred Henry Cavill

Mission: Impossible 2 almost saw Ethan taking on an evil supercomputer if Oliver Stone's pitch was greenlit.

Oliver Stone’s Unmade Mission Impossible Idea Was Used in the Best Tom Cruise Franchise Movie That Starred Henry Cavill


  • In comparison to the initial draft of Tom Cruise's MI 2, John Woo's version doesn't seem too far from the rest of the franchise.
  • Initially supposed to be helmed by Oliver Stone, his version witnessed an evil computer as the primary villain, which is not too far from the recent installation in the series.
  • But before resorting to Stone and then Woo, Cruise originally wanted Brian De Palma to return to the sequel.
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What separates MI from any other major Hollywood franchises currently running is the directors’ input into these films, as Tom Cruise once deemed MI as a director-driven franchise. With each entry often presented as its own self-contained story, directors could dictate each movie’s style, and it was especially prominent in Mission: Impossible 2, following John Woo’s highly stylized imagery.


And while Woo’s take on the franchise deviated the most from the general aesthetic of the iconic series, things would’ve been wilder if they settled with Oliver Stone’s vision for the franchise.

Also read: Mission: Impossible 7 Failure is a Blessing for Tom Cruise Amid Rumors of Paramount Replacing Actor to Expand the Franchise

Mission: Impossible 2
Tom Cruise | Mission: Impossible 2

Oliver Stone’s MI 2 Would’ve Brought in the Evil Computer 2 Decades Before Dead Reckoning

Before Tom Cruise brought in the action auteur John Woo to helm the sequel, it was director Oliver Stone, who was initially added to the project. Having worked with Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, Stone was on board with helming the movie, explaining that it was a vehicle to tell a story about corporate culture “and global politics in the 21st century”. While the project never came to fruition, and the reasons behind his departure remain scarce, following the difference between his version and the movie we got, one could argue it was due to creative differences.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible II
Mission: Impossible 2

The early draft written by David Marconi with revisions from Michael Tolkin, obtained by the Light The Fuse Podcast hosts Charles Hood and Drew Taylor, sees the sequel touching the realm of sci-fi. The draft follows the story of Ethan taking on an evil supercomputer, posited as the primary villain of the canned version, which is interestingly not too far from Dead Reckoning. However, the draft relies a lot on biblical allegories, as Ethan is captured and put into an experimental chamber, which causes Ethan to be trapped in a simulation of the Garden of Eden, from which he marks his escape.

It’s important to note that the early draft was more of an outline than a completely fleshed-out final draft, so the disjointed elements probably would’ve been corrected if it had been greenlit.


Also read: “It’s not that I don’t get scared”: Is Tom Cruise a Man Without Fear? The Mission Impossible Stunt That Made Him Admit He’s Terrified

Tom Cruise from a scene Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (2023)

Tom Cruise originally wanted Brian De Palma to return for the sequel

But before moving to Oliver Stone to shape the future of the franchise, Tom Cruise’s original choice was to keep working with Brian De Palma, who was the reason behind the rise of MI. However, after the first MI release, the Scarface director wasn’t on board with the idea of the sequel, explaining that there was no story to be added, further stressing he wasn’t interested in making more money. Recounting his response to Cruise on the idea of a sequel, De Palma recalled (via The Associated Press):

“I said: ‘Are you kidding?’ One of these is enough. Why would anybody want to make another one? Of course the reason they make another one is to make money. I was never a movie director to make money, which is the big problem of Hollywood.”

Also read: “I look forward to making great movies together”: Tom Cruise Might Have Hinted Mission Impossible Retirement After Latest Deal With WB

Tom Cruise in a still from Mission: Impossible
Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible

While Tom Cruise and other auteurs did end up adding more valuable stories to the franchise, had it not been for Cruise’s fixation on letting the director dictate the films, MI might not have reached its heights.

Mission: Impossible 2 is available to stream on Paramount Plus.

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1609

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.