Movie Reviews

Rebecca Fergusons Mission: Impossible Comments Are A Brutal Reminder For Blockbuster Movies

Summary

  • Ferguson’s comment on her character’s death in Mission: Impossible reflects a common blockbuster movie problem.
  • Adding more A-list actors to major franchises can detract from original characters like Ferguson’s Ilsa.
  • Killing off Ilsa in the franchise made sense as it freed up Ferguson for other exciting roles and avoided sidelining her character.



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Rebecca Ferguson’s comment on Mission: Impossible rings true for the state of modern blockbuster movies. Ferguson first appeared as Ilsa Faust in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) before reprising her role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (2023). Over the last decade, Ferguson has established herself as a franchise actress in both film and television, recently starring in the Apple sci-fi series Silo and the highest-grossing movie of 2024, Dune: Part Two.


Following Ilsa’s death in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Ferguson opened up about the decision to kill off her character sayingIlsa was becoming a team player. And we all can want different things, but for me, Ilsa was rogue. Ilsa was naughty. Ilsa was unpredictable. There was a lot of characters coming in, not leaving enough space for what she had been.” Ferguson added, “Selfishly, that’s a lot of time to make a ‘Mission’ film. And unless you’re going to have a lot of screen time, that’s a lot of time sitting around waiting to film a huge movie that could take over a year to film. It’s dedication.”



Rebecca Ferguson’s Thoughts On Ilsa’s Mission: Impossible Death Connect To A Blockbuster Movie Problem

Expanding a franchise’s cast with A-list actors is not a guaranteed recipe for success

Ferguson’s Ilsa was a driving force in both
Rogue Nation
and
Fallout
, but with all the additional characters brought in for
Dead Reckoning
, particularly Hayley Atwell’s Grace, Isla was becoming more of a team player, which was never really who she was.

Ferguson’s point that Ilsa was becoming a team player highlights a key concern with the direction of the Mission: Impossible franchise, and by extension other major franchises as well. Ferguson’s Ilsa was a driving force in both Rogue Nation and Fallout, but with all the additional characters brought in for Dead Reckoning, particularly Hayley Atwell’s Grace, Isla was becoming more of a team player, which was never really who she was. With all the new characters coming in, there’s less time to focus on everyone, and a large part of the focus was taken away from Isla as a result.


Ferguson’s point raises awareness of a common problem with major blockbusters that expand by adding more and more A-list talent. With each new installment going bigger with each sequel, that often means pushing the fan-favorite and original characters to the sidelines. The Fast & Furious is arguably the best example of Ferguson’s message, stretching to fit in appearances by Jason Statham, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Alan Ritchson, and Brie Larson in Fast X (2023) only to end up with the worst box office performance of the franchise since 2006’s Tokyo Drift.

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Why Ilsa’s Death Made Sense In Mission: Impossible 7

The decision frees Ferguson’s schedule for other exciting roles


It makes sense to kill off Ferguson’s character in the
Mission: Impossible
franchise if her role was not going to expand alongside the explosive growth of her career.

Ferguson’s filmography has reached new heights in recent years following the success of Dune, Silo, and Dune: Part Two, in which she plays major lead characters in all of them. It makes sense to kill off Ferguson’s character in the Mission: Impossible franchise if her role was not going to expand alongside the explosive growth of her career. While Ilsa’s death was certainly sad and disappointing, it was the best thing that could have happened if the franchise wasn’t going to give her a more prominent role. More importantly, Ferguson’s Mission: Impossible exit opens her schedule for other projects, such as the 2025 sci-fi film Mercy with Chris Pratt.


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