A legacy character is returning to the “Mission: Impossible” franchise and it’s probably not who you’d expect.
On social media, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie just announced that Rolf Saxon, the actor who played unlucky CIA agent William Donloe in Brian De Palma’s 1996 masterpiece “Mission: Impossible” will be returning for the eighth film, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part Two” (due out in the summer of 2024).
If, for some reason, you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the franchise, in the first movie Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team, then comprised of Luther (Ving Rhames), Krieger (Jean Reno) and Claire (Emmanuele Béart), stage an audacious break-in at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This involves sneaking into the “black vault,” an ultra-secure CIA database overseen by William Donloe, an analyst at the agency. It’s Donloe’s vault that Hunt infiltrates by suspending himself from the ceiling, in what is arguably the most memorable sequence from the original movie – and maybe the entire franchise.
When IMF director Kittridge (Henry Czerny, who will also be returning for the sequels) finds out about the heist, he contemplates Donloe’s fate before deciding: “I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day; just mail him his clothes.” Considering McQuarrie and other members of the cast and crew have been sharing photos of an icy tundra, it begs the question – has he been in Alaska all this time? And what does Ethan and his current band of spies want with Donloe today?
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One” crashes into theaters on July 14, 2023. Cruise is joined by returning cast members Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Rhames and Vanessa Kirby, alongside new additions Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff and Cary Elwes. McQuarrie returns to write and direct, alongside frequent collaborator, Oscar-nominated editor Eddie Hamilton and composer Lorne Balfe, who composed the music for 2018’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and worked with McQuarrie and Hamilton on last year’s magnificent “Top Gun: Maverick.” “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part Two” will follow on June 28, 2024.