Was Another 'Mission Impossible' Cameo Planned in 'Ghost Protocol'?
by Ethan Anderton
January 2, 2012
For those who have yet to venture into theaters to check out the live-action directorial debut of Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) in the form of the suspenseful and fun Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, you may want to steer clear of this story for fear of spoilers. When you look at the Mission: Impossible franchise, each film is essentially a stand alone action movie with only a few of the characters recurring: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickler and Simon Pegg being the most recent continuing character. But did another older character almost reappear in Ghost Protocol?
We can't make any guarantees, but the clues on the big screen don't lie. No, I'm not talking about the film's last minute cameo by Ving Rhames, which adds a nice little bit of humor at the end, because that actually came to fruition. This character cameo would've reached back to Brian De Palma's original film from 1996 and the seed for it is planted throughout the film with a lead-up that sort of putters out when an unknown new character shows up instead. So what's the evidence?
Throughout the film, Ethan Hunt talks to an unknown character on the phone a couple times. The first time he adamantly makes sure the character is secure after the IMF secretary is killed and the only remnants of the agency left are Hunt, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton). Later on, after the high-rise action at the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, Ethan makes another call to confirm a meeting with someone clearly integral to the next part of his plan. The phone call includes a few details to get into the meeting including Dunhill cigarettes, something you might recognize from when Ethan went to meet a certain anonymous arms dealer in the first film.
When we finally arrive at the meeting in question, lo and behold, the man waiting for Ethan on a boat (after the signal using a lighter and cigarettes is used) is actor Andreas Wisniewski, the same man who accompanied Max, the elder female arms dealer played by Vanessa Redgrave in Mission: Impossible. The mask he places over Ethan's head to keep their location secret puts the icing on the cake until the potential sweet treat is ruined by the appearance of The Fog (Ilia Volok) instead of Max.
It's a disappointing conclusion to what could've been a great throwback to the start of this franchise that started way back in 1996, but there's no telling why the crumbs didn't actually lead to a great Easter Egg. However, if you're interested, there are a couple of other cool little references to director Brad Bird's work at Pixar that actually made the final cut of the film. So see the film again to pay attention to these little details, or if you haven't seen it yet, get out there now!