With "Fallout," McQuarrie takes a giant step as a director by opening up his action sequences with the same emotional clarity he brings to his writing.
Christopher McQuarrie has been working with Tom Cruise as a screenwriter for 12 years and first introduced him to "Jack Reacher" before taking on the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. He often talks about the important role Cruise plays in the storytelling and script structure. McQuarrie believes that Cruise's imprint on his films is not related to a specific screen persona, but rather to his persistence that any decision enhances the emotional clarity of the audience.
What is so impressive about "Mission Impossible ̵
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"[‘Rogue Nation’] was a massive fight," McQuarrie said of his first "Mission Impossible" movie. "We first did the action and then decided what order the action would take and which story made all those events worthwhile, why do these events exist in that order?" You can feel that in the movie. "
While the massive action McQuarrie said the key was not to let spectacle be what drives the train. Solving Problems Cruise had decided, in connection with his character's journey in "Rogue Nation", that if he wanted to make another Mission Impossible movie, he wanted to get into Hunt's head.
"We learned so much about emotions in 'Edge of Tomorrow' that we were then able to translate into 'Rogue Nation'," McQuarrie said. "We've been discovering how much emotion the narrative can endure, so much so that when Tom asked me to do the film, I said I'll do it, but I want to make a more emotional film, now I want to Leaning into that … and letting character dictate story, so the action sequences were pushed into the background and character drama was pulled forward. "
To accomplish this, McQuarrie had to some extent cast his screenplay put aside. One of his great lessons in becoming a director is to discover how character can be expressed through physical action and away from what he calls "narrative orderliness."
Photo: Chiabella James
"As a writer tends you have to do the script and the internal logic of the movie, "said McQuarrie," My path as a director needs to become more and more comfortable, "I do not need to know, I do not have to explain that, I do not have to make that clear."
The epic bathroom fighting scene in Fallout perfectly illustrates these principles. The original concept was mostly plot-driven – Ethan entered the bathroom with the intention of assuming the physical identity of the villain ("Mission Impossible" mask style), but when something goes awry, he leaves the bathroom and takes away the man's identity while still looking its own. This sets the original driving force of the narrative in motion: Ethan is forced to play the villain in order to achieve his goal. And although there are traces of this plot in the finished film, McQuarrie realized that this film had to be driven more by Ethan's relationships with other characters.
"And therein lies the core of 'Mission Impossible – Fallout': action against character, and intellectual concepts versus emotional realities," McQuarrie said. Seeing the action scenes through this prism, McQuarrie began to bring another set of questions to the bathroom combat scene: "What's the Dynamics Between Ethan and Ilsa [Rebecca Ferguson] Ethan and Lane [Sean Harris] Ethan and Henry [Cavill, who plays Walker]?
The bathroom scene, which begins in the first half of the film, is used to build the momentum between Walker and Ethan's characters, who fight together in an epic melee with the formidable Lark [Liang Yang]] Liang Yang and Henry Cavill in "Mission Impossible – Fallout" "width =" 780 "height =" 504 "/>
" There is an emotional relationship [Walker[Ethan] has a very different relationship, but still based on an emotional conflict against a plotted one, "McQuarrie said." They do not like each other because of their methods. And from this point of ignition, everything expands in that order. It's about the conflict and the styles of these two types.
In the choreography of the combat scene with stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood and combat coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann, McQuarrie found ways to not only introduce Walker's character, but also to plant the seeds of his conflict with Ethan.
"[Walker] is a monster, that big guy, so we have to humanize him, but at the same time we introduce the styles of these two guys," McQuarrie said. "One of the reasons the fight sounds as good as it is [is] is not just fighting, but also storytelling and character, you learn about Henry Cavill and you learn about Ethan, you see Ethan's flaws, you see Henry's vulnerabilities, but you can also see that Henry is capable of raging and is a powerful character, it also enhances Liang's character to something almost mythical, so when the scene dissolves as it does, it gives this character power . "
McQuarrie relies heavily on Eastwood and Stegemann to create the visceral action. While filming various video versions of the pre-production battle to share with McQuarrie, the director dictates optimizations to ensure that dramatic beats push the story forward rather than getting lost in it.
Breaking the fight in the bathroom into narrative beats, he collaborated with production designer Peter Wenham to find planes and various action spaces to grow, but without to become a completely unrealistic space. Willem has created the right combinations of walls and mirrors to break up the space and create different aspects of the stage in order to make them dynamic from a narrative perspective.
"That's my fixation, if there's a new room, the first thing I do is teach you the geography," McQuarrie said. "That way you can concentrate on it and you never play when the action starts."
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