Tom Cruise Regrets Killing Off This Original Mission: Impossible Character

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One original Mission: Impossible actor reveals that Tom Cruise has some regrets about killing off his character, who appeared briefly in the 1996 film. Loosely based on a TV show of the same name from the 1960s, Mission: Impossible introduces Cruise as superspy Ethan Hunt. The movie, which was a hit critically and commercially, famously opens with Hunt’s entire team being killed during an operation that is later revealed to have been a setup.


Ahead of the Mission: Impossible 7 release date this summer, Emilio Estevez reveals in a recent interview with Uproxx that Cruise wishes he hadn’t killed off his character, Jack Harmon, during the original movie’s opening sequence. Harmon, the tech whiz of the team, is brutally killed by being crushed in an elevator shaft, which ultimately made him impossible to resurrect in future films. Check out Estevez’s full comment below:

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“The way Tom had explained it, he said, ‘Look, I’d love for you to come and join the cast. The whole opening number where everybody gets wiped out, it’s going to be a lot of well-known people and all of them are going to go uncredited and it’s really going to set up the level of peril for Ethan.’ And I said, ‘I’m in. You don’t have to ask me twice, I’m in.’ And then afterwards, obviously, the movie’s a giant hit.

Tom was like, we were doing a run the year after that and he says, ‘Man, we made such a mistake killing you off.’ He and [director] John Woo were trying to figure out a way to bring me back for part two, but it just didn’t make sense. I thought you could have because with all the masks, right?”

Emilio Estevez’s Character Could Have Returned In Mission: Impossible Sequels

Although it’s probably too late now, barring some surprise announcement that Estevez is joining Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, which is currently in production, it’s certainly possible that Harmon could have been resurrected. Despite Cruise and Woo not being able to find a way to bring Estevez back, the Mission: Impossible franchise is certainly known for its more ridiculous elements. In addition to the stunts, the movies also feature some pretty advanced technology, including life-like masks and voice emulators.

Harmon likely couldn’t have survived his crushing in the elevator shaft, but a future film could have retconned this by revealing that it wasn’t him who got crushed. The only way this would make sense, of course, would be if Harmon was actually a villain. Perhaps he faked his own death (using someone wearing a mask of his face) in order to then operate in the shadows. Even by Mission: Impossible standards, however, this does admittedly feel like a stretch.

While it might be for the best that Estevez’s character wasn’t somehow resurrected in future franchise entries, the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One cast does certainly make it an enticing proposition. The upcoming film features the return of Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) and its sequel also brings back William Donloe (Rolf Saxon), both of whom haven’t been since the original movie. Had Harmon been brought back after the original Mission: Impossible, the upcoming entries would have felt even further connected to the 1996 film that started it all.

Source: Uproxx

Key Release Dates

  • Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 Poster

    Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two

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