Spanning nearly three decades, with no signs of slowing down, the Mission ImpossibleH The franchise starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt is undoubtedly an interesting watch. The six-part series (So Far) that first hit theaters in 1996 with Mission: Impossible Since then he has introduced a lot of characters to take the story forward and offer us new and exciting adventures. By extension, many actors have joined in Mission: Impossible concession all the way.

Update July 6, 2023: In honor of the upcoming release of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1This list has been updated with more actors who have chosen not to accept the assignment.

As with every other Hollywood franchise, actors from all over the world auditioned for now-legendary roles in Mission: Impossible franchise. Of course, between turning down roles and losing parts to other actors, there are a variety of reasons why the actor ultimately didn’t join Cruise’s high-octane franchise. With the release of the next seventh installment, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1So close, here’s a rundown of the cast who were almost cast in Mission: Impossible franchise.

10 Nicholas Holt

Fox Searchlight Pictures

In 2020, sending news broke that Nicholas Holt was joining Mission: Impossible franchise as a villain in MI: 7 And MI: 8. Sadly, with 2020 being the era of the pandemic, the casting didn’t go as planned. Holt had to leave the franchise due to his busy schedule, making room for Esai Morales to join the cast. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Holt spoke about his absence: “Yeah, unfortunately, it was because of COVID and things closed for a while. Then the products collided, so I couldn’t be a part of it anymore.”

Related: Mission: Impossible: The Best Villains in the Franchise, Ranked

Although not much is known about the character Morales will play Mission: Impossible –Dead reckoning part oneOne thing’s for sure: it’ll be a pleasure to watch Morales in action, given his excellent range of playing big bad guys.

9 Lindsey Lohan

Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls
Paramount Pictures

back in 2005, Lindsey Lohan She was advancing in her career and was a hot commodity in Hollywood having topped the list of hit comedy films mean girls And Freaky Friday. The actress was allegedly in talks to portray Lindsey Faris in Mission: Impossible III, A role that would have showcased her physical prowess and would have been very different from the character she had played up to that point.

Lohan revealed to Access Hollywood that she met with director JJ Abrams to discuss the part, revealing, “I’m a huge fan of Lost And Nick nameSo hopefully we’ll see what happens. If that’s the case, I’ll be in training for a few weeks, and put on some muscle…if I do Mission: Impossible III That would be very amazing. No reason was revealed for not playing IMF agent Lindsey, and the part ultimately went to Keri Russell instead. Perhaps the filmmakers wanted an older actress for the role, as Lohan was 18 and Russell was 18. 29 years old at the time.

8 Ian McKellen

The best wizards in the rating films
New Line Cinema

It might be surprising Ian McKellen Fans that the Oscar-nominated actor turned down the chance to play a role in Mission: Impossible franchise. McKellen was offered the role of Dr. Nekhorvich in Mission: Impossible II, but he refused the part. And, as we know, the character was played by the Croatian actor Rade Serpedzia. Per McKellen interview with PEOPLE, he talked about turning down the role: “Well, I couldn’t judge from just reading those scenes(s) what the script was like. So I said no. And my agent said, ‘You can’t say no to working with Tom Cruise!'” And I said. , “I think I will.”

However, after turning down the role, McKellen was offered another iconic part: Magneto in Fox’s X-Men The series that catapulted his career to great heights. Soon after, he was offered the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson the Lord of the Rings And The hobbit. The rest, as we know, is history.

7 Carrie Ann Moss

Carrie Ann Moss in The Matrix
Warner Bros.

Carrie Ann Moss She significantly cemented her position as an exceptional actress in Hollywood after her stunning performance as Trinity in matrix franchise. Thanks to her performance and Joe Carnahan taking over as director, Moss was slated to be the female lead opposite Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in the movie. Mission: Impossible III.

However, Carnahan was replaced by JJ Abrams, and the Moss character was cut entirely from the film. Indeed, a plot Mission: Impossible III It has been completely changed. And as fans will be aware, in the final cut, Monaghan ended up portraying the role of Julia, Ethan’s love interest.

6 Peter Graves

Peter Graves in Mission: Impossible

The original star of the ’60s TV series Peter Graves Famously appearing as Jim Phelps in the classic spy thriller, he was approached to reprise the role for the 1996 big screen movie adaptation. Despite being the face of the show up to that point, the actor ended up refusing to return because of how the character was rewritten. Phelps ended up being the main villain of the first installment and was a traitor to his country and the Organization, mercilessly killing three of his agents.

Graves felt they had damaged the character’s legacy and his fans by making him an antagonist, expressing his displeasure with Hollywood’s move to CNN in 1996: “I’m sorry they chose to call him Phelps. They could have worked it out. It’s very easy to either have me in a scene in the beginning, or A telegram read from me said, “Hey boys, I’m retired, I went to Hawaii. Thank you, goodbye, you’ll take over now.” The role was then portrayed by Jon Voight.

5 Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie Captain America
Marvel Studios

Cruz has always carried weight Mission: Impossible franchise. However, there was a time, more precisely during Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol When two names were discussed to eventually replace him. Anthony Mackie He was one of those names, along with Kevin Zegers and Christopher Egan. Interestingly enough, Mackie was a strong contender for the role of the young spy at the IMF due to his diversified portfolio, specifically his recent performance as Sanborn in Pain locker.

Related: Here’s All Mission: Impossible Movie, Rated

Of course, it didn’t work out, and Cruz went on to play the brilliant and ingenious spy Ethan Hunt. However, years later, we saw Mackie dressed as MCU superhero Sam Wilson, which is a noteworthy feat in itself, considering he’s now the Captain America franchise.

4 Scarlet Johansan

The Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow
Marvel Studios

Another name that was included in the cast Mission: Impossible IIIAlong with Carrie Ann Moss, he was Scarlett Johansson. Unlike Moss’ situation, after Abrams took over as director, Johansson’s role remained in the story. The actress underwent extensive training for her role, but a change in the film’s leadership and re-work on scripts led to delays. As a result, Johansson had to drop out of the project, although not much is known about the fate of the character she was going to play in the series. Mission: Impossible III.

3 Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais laughs in the middle of a conversation

Before Simon Pegg made the character his own with his charming performance as the techie-turned-field agent and Ethan’s trusted colleague Benji Dunn, the unapologetic comedian Ricky Gervais He was initially cast in the important role after winning international acclaim for his performance in the desk.

The funny man was going to provide his sarcastic commentary and delightfully dry sense of humor as Benji, but he was forced to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts with the 2006 comedy For your respect. While there is no doubt that Gervais would have added his own distinct flair to the character, Pegg and Cruise’s winning chemistry really speaks for itself.

2 Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
Columbia Pictures

Elsa Faust fan – believe it or not, this titular anti-hero role is in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation He was about to play it Jessica Chastain. However, as fans already know, she was ultimately played by Rebecca Ferguson, though we’d love watching Chastain roll up her sleeves for the role of infamous Faust. Unfortunately, it is not known specifically why she refused the part in the franchise. Supposedly, during those days, the actress was in high demand after her success in Zero Dark Thirty.

1 Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh Hamlet 1
Columbia Pictures

One last star from Mission: Impossible III That was almost. Kenneth Branagh He was cast as the villain when the movie was set to be directed by Joe Carnahan. Like Scarlett Johansson and Carrie-Anne Moss, when Carnahan left the project, and the film was delayed, Branagh had to drop out as the character was recast, and production on the film was delayed over a year as Cruise decided to wait for J.J. Abrams’ schedule to clear up so he could direct.

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman played the ultimate villain, in not only one of Hoffman’s best roles but the best villain in the entire series. Branagh was certainly a great villain, but it’s hard to argue that what the audience got wasn’t worth the trade. Perhaps Prana can play a villain in another role Mission: Impossible Where Tom Cruise looks to continue starring for years to come.


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