Mission: Impossible – Fallout Cut A Kiss Scene Between Ethan Hunt And Ilsa Faust

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

by Ben Travis, Chris Hewitt |
Published on

Have you devoured all three hours of Empire’s three-hour spoiler-filled Christopher McQuarrie podcast interview for Mission: Impossible – Fallout? And the pod-team’s discussion of the film? Well strap in, because another three-hour interview with McQuarrie is hurtling towards you like a crashed helicopter tumbling down a mountaintop. There are plenty more insights into the sixth Mission in McQuarrie’s epic conversation with Empire’s Chris Hewitt – including details of a pivotal character scene between Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) that could have changed the pair’s relationship, and which was ultimately cut. Spoilers for the film follow, so if you’ve not seen Mission: Impossible – Fallout yet, come back after you’ve treated yourself to one of the summer’s very best blockbusters.


In the new Mission, McQuarrie ties up the hanging thread of Ethan’s relationship with his wife, Julia. The character clearly has chemistry with Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, but remains cut up over his relationship with Julia not working out. Well, as we learn in Fallout Julia has got re-married – while she and Ethan still care deeply about each other, their life together would never work. As for Ilsa, she nearly ended up sharing a kiss with Ethan in a move that would have ramped their will-they-won’t-they relationship up a notch. In the scene, the pair fought over Ilsa’s desire to kill big bad Solomon Lane, and ultimately kiss – a sequence which was shot, and featured in early cuts of the movie.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

“They have a scene which is Ilsa throwing punches and kicks at Ethan, and Ethan's blocking, and he gets her in one kind of hold and he starts to talk and she punches him. They have this dance,” McQuarrie told Empire. “The scene culminates with him pinning her against the wall, she throws one of her leg moves on him, he slams her into a wall and he explains, 'We can't kill [Lane]. We can't kill him ever. People are still out there, only he knows who and how many.' And she says, 'I don't care what happens to me, this is not about me. He has to be stopped, I don't care what happens to me.' And he says, 'I do.' And it's a big deal for him to say it.

“Tom really did a great delivery of it where he hesitated to say it. And we were shooting this scene, and in the midst of one take Rebecca just kissed Tom. And it was actually really quite lovely. But then they laughed, they started laughing and we cut. And then I said, 'You know what you did? It worked, and now I've got to fucking rewrite the scene right here.' And we covered it, we shot it so that you could do it every which way, and we put the scene in the movie.”

After four test screenings, there was much indecision over whether the scene stayed or went – and in the end, McQuarrie chopped it. “Tom said, 'What's your issue with the scene?' And I said, 'The scene makes you strong at her expense. Ilsa is stronger when she does not let her emotions get the better of her. She's a stronger character when she confronts you in the park and says "I know you had your reasons".' And this is the one moment where she's not like that,” McQuarrie reasoned.

Despite the director’s worries about the scene’s removal, it turns out Ferguson wasn’t a fan of the kiss anyway. “I thought, 'Oh my god, she's going to watch the movie [without the kiss], she did so much work on this scene and she's so good in it, she's so strong...',” he recalled. “And the next day I saw her and one of the first things she said was, 'I noticed you cut the scene out, the fight and the kiss.' I said, 'Yes I did.' She goes, 'Good, I always hated that scene. It's not Ilsa.'"

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

So there you have it – Ethan and Ilsa were nearly more explicitly ‘a thing’ in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. And now with Julia happily married off to good-guy Patrick, the potential is there for Ethan and Ilsa to take their relationship to the next level in Mission 7 – if McQuarrie, Ferguson, and even the franchise itself, returns.

Find out plenty more about Mission: Impossible ¬– Fallout in the Empire Podcast Spoiler Special Part 3, and catch the film in UK cinemas now.

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