Was Another 'Mission Impossible' Cameo Planned in 'Ghost Protocol'?

January 2, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

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!

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  • rickvanr
    I thought the blonde guy was the same and the mask looked almost the same too. Was really hoping it was going to be Max and was surprised it wasn't. It was a let down
  • According to some people "that had read the first draft of the script" Cruise did wanted Redgrave to reappear but she was very busy filming Anonymous & Coriolanus, what a shame
  • Moviekid
    Did anyone other than me see the A113 in the movie??
    • Al
      I didn't see it, but I hear Cruise say it. 
      • The A113 you can see is in a quick shot of Josh Holloway's character's school ring that he uses to prick the one guy's finger to steal that briefcase.
    • Yep. And the clearance code Ethan uses for a pick-up is Alpha 113. The other Easter Egg by way of Brad Bird and his association with Pixar is that the voice used to assign missions to Ethan is the same as the Chatter Telephone from Toy Story 3.
  • IanKuah
    I got so excited when i saw the cigarette and mask, and after reading this, the phone calls make sense too. I thought for sure we would get to see Max again, so that was almost a let down.
  • Do people really still watch the Mission Impossible movies?
    • Hell yeah. I wasn't a fan of De Palma/Woo's films, but Abrams and Bird did a really great job. I look forward to seeing another director tackle a fifth installment.
    • The_Kid89
      Definitely, I love all four films.
    • Lagoya
      MI4 was awful, the worst of the franchise, a definite let down after the brilliant MI3
      • Octopus9498
        Ok. Yeah. Go ahead and slither back under the rock you crawled out from under. Bye bye.
    • That's good.  The cinemas need money. So does Tom Cruise, that spaceship isn't going to build itself. I stopped watching after the 2nd one, but maybe I am being too harsh.
  • Actually i thought this film was going to address "the rabbit" from the last film. does anyone know what happened to that one?
  • Haven't noticed anyone mention that at the conclusion of the film Hunt gets another mission and the crime syndicate mentioned is none other than Syndrome, which was Jason Lee's character from Bird's "The Incredibles".  If this has been mentioned I apologize for the redundancy. 
    • j
      It was "the syndicate", bad guys from the mission impossible tv series
  • I found it to be the most interesting of the 'Mission: Impossible' films. Others might disagree. It has a thick plot, but director Bird communicates it very well from start to finish. I appreciated the score of the film as well, which includes a nice title sequence with the theme we all know. It wasn't without its flaws, but most will pass unnoticed.
  • Max Renn
    When Ving Rhames turned up at the end, I wished he was in the movie instead of that clown Simon Pegg.
  • Lo
    what did stickler say at the end of the movie?
  • Sz731
    does anyone know if there will be another M I after Ghost Protocol?




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