Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series is as close to an American remake of James Bond as it gets. And one of the aspects of the 007 franchise that Cruise doesn’t shy away from borrowing – well, other than the cool gadgetry, globe-trotting missions to save the world from yet another doomsday, and Simon Pegg essentially acting as Q – is the ever-rotating roster of Bond girls, er, Hunt girls (it somehow sounds very wrong). However, despite finding some stability with Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust recently, the films before 2015’s Rogue Nation had all managed to feature a different female actor in the roster. One of them could have been Scarlett Johansson.
Also read: ‘No way in hell MI7 won’t surpass John Wick 4‘: Tom Cruise Fans Convinced He Will Beat Keanu Reeves With $290M Mission: Impossible 7
Tom Cruise Drops Scarlett Johansson From M:I 3 Film
It was amid utter chaos and numerous shifting of directors and scriptwriters that the casting of Mission: Impossible 3 had begun. Carrie-Ann Moss and Scarlett Johansson were brought on board but soon after were deemed misfits after JJ Abrams was brought in to replace Joe Carnahan. According to Abrams, Moss and ScarJo didn’t fit in with his version of the script. However, other rumors were afloat that were far more damaging than Abrams’ reasonable claims.
Also read: “He’s constantly evolving”: Henry Cavill Hopes August Walker Returns in Tom Cruise’s $3.57B Mission: Impossible Franchise
It seems as though Tom Cruise had other plans in mind for his then-would-be co-star, Scarlett Johansson. Several publications at the time reported that the actor was intent on introducing Johansson to Scientology and had gone so far as to invite her to dinner with a few guests from the Church. She reportedly declined. It can only be assumed that Cruise, who had just broken up with Penélope Cruz and had a track record of introducing his wives to the Church (both Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes joined Scientology when they married Cruise) had plans to go down on one knee for the rising star, Scarlett Johansson.
The rumors were later debunked after JJ Abrams himself claimed that his version of the new Mission: Impossible 3 script could not accommodate the actors who were brought in to star under Joe Carnahan’s direction.
Tom Cruise Helps Secure Mission: Impossible‘s Future
Despite record-breaking success in all his career endeavors, Tom Cruise still had a few hurdles to cross in the early 2000s. This included the actor not being able to secure a director for the third installment of his highly successful Mission: Impossible franchise. The previous two films in the series had done spectacularly well, bringing in $45.4 million and $57.8 million in the opening weekends respectively. The third film was even more highly anticipated but the countless roadblocks that the production kept running into eventually cost Cruise valuable time.
Also read: “If I see you do it again, you are f****g gone”: Tom Cruise Threatened to Fire Mission: Impossible Crew Members After One Minor Mistake
Initially, the film was supposed to be helmed by David Fincher who dropped out to direct Zodiac. Joe Carnahan was later brought in who worked on a script with Dan Gilroy. Gilroy was removed because of the studio’s disagreement with the script that he had proposed and Robert Towne was brought in. However, Towne’s rewrite did not settle well with Carnahan’s vision and it fell upon Tom Cruise to save the flailing franchise.
JJ Abrams, who caught the actor’s eye for his work on Alias, was then asked to come on board and although the third installment failed to live up to the standards of the first two, it did help move the franchise forward for an incredible run in the future.
Mission: Impossible series is available for streaming on Paramount+ with the seventh installment, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I premiering on 14 July 2023.
Source: The Things