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Julia Roberts, 55, was considered to be 'de-aged' for Mission Impossible 7 just like Harrison Ford in Indiana
2023/09/04

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie revealed he considered contacting for a scene that would have required using .

While appearing on Wednesday's , the 54-year-old acclaimed producer made the revelation as he discussed an idea that was ultimately scrapped for the action spy film's opening scene.

McQuarrie explained to users that he almost enlisted 'de-aging' technology on the  , 61, and Roberts, who he wanted to portray the late girlfriend of the Top Gun star's character, Ethan Hunt, for a flashback set in 1989. 

The Oscar winner said that when he 'looked back at who was the ingenue' and 'breakout star' of 1989, he immediately thought: 'Oh my God. Julia Roberts, a then-pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts.'

At the time, the Steel Magnolias actress would have been 21 and just wrapped her breakout film, Mystic Pizza.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie revealed he considered contacting Julia Roberts (seen in 1988) for a scene that would have required using 'de-aging' effects

Too expensive: While appearing on Wednesday's The Empire Spoiler Special Film Podcast , the 54-year-old acclaimed producer made the revelation as he discussed an idea that was ultimately scrapped for the action spy film's opening scene (Tom Cruise pictured above in Mission: Impossible 7)

'The only way I could have seen doing the sequence justice [using de-aging] was to somehow convince Julia Roberts to come in and be this small role at the beginning of this story,' McQuarrie stated.

As he thought about the audience's reaction to using the 'de-aging of Julia Roberts, and Esai [Morales], and Tom, and Henry Czerny, the director realized 'all anybody’s going to be doing is thinking about' the CGI touch-ups on the actors' faces. 

'And then I got the bill for de-aging those people before their salaries were even factored into it,' he mused. 'If you put two of them in a shot together, or three of them in a shot together, it would have been as expensive as the train by the time we were done.'

McQuarrie was alluding to the movie's 'climactic set piece, which is set on a speeding train,' according to . 

The publication also noted that the production crew for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One 'built the train carts from scratch and actually crashed the train.'

Ultimately, he cast Mariela Garriga to portray Hunt's girlfriend, Marie, who is killed by Gabriel (Esai Morales), in a brief flashback, and simply avoided showing Cruise or 60-year-old Morales' faces during the scene.

The use of 'de-aging' effects is still divided among audiences as evidenced by the reaction to Harrison Ford getting 'de-aged' for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. 

In response to critics who complained about his de-aged appearance, Ford, 80, pointed out that it wasn't just 'photoshop magic.' 

Just an idea: Rather than using a flashback with an actor that resembled Tom Cruise in 1989, McQuarrie explained to users that he almost enlisted 'de-aging' technology on the Top Gun star, 61, and Roberts, who he wanted to portray the late girlfriend of Cruise's character, Ethan Hunt; McQuarrie seen earlier this month

The Oscar winner said that when he 'looked back at who was the ingenue' and 'breakout star' of 1989, he immediately thought: 'Oh my God. Julia Roberts, a then-pre-‘Pretty Woman’ Julia Roberts'

'That’s what I looked like 35 years ago,' he pointed out to Entertainment Weekly. 

Previously, producer Kathleen Kennedy, 69, told  her hope was for people to think: 'Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they shot 40 years ago.' 

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was hailed as 'impeccably made' and a true 'summer blockbuster' after its world premiere in Rome last month.

At the time, film critic Scott Mantz tweeted that Dead Reckoning was 'worth the wait!'

Just getting started: At the time, the Steel Magnolias actress would have been 21 and just wrapped her breakout film, Mystic Pizza (seen above in the film)

Polarizing: The use of 'de-aging' effects is still divided among audiences as evidenced by the reaction to the 'de-aged' Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

He added that it was 'absolutely fantastic' and declared it the 'best "mission" yet' for the series.

'Great story, awesome cast, incredible action that will keep you on the edge of your seat,' he continued, while declaring that Cruise had 'topped himself w/ the BEST ACTION MOVIE OF THE SUMMER!'

Collider's Perri Nemiroff called Mission: Impossible 7 'another winner for the franchise.'

'Yet again, the production value is THROUGH THE ROOF with some of the most well-defined and exhilarating set pieces photographed in ways that truly make you feel like you're in the middle of the action,' she gushed. 'The emphasis on capturing things in camera makes a HUGE difference, and you can feel it.'

Since hitting theaters on July 12, the film has grossed $370.9 million globally. 

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