Mission: Impossible 7 is the star of a movie shot over 3 months without a single dialogue

Mission Impossible – Death Wages Part One: Hayley Atwell revealed she filmed the film for over three months before recording any lines of dialogue. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the seventh installment in the long-running action saga sees the return of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt as he searches for a dangerous new weapon before it falls into the hands of the enemy. Mission: Impossible: Death Wages Part One brings together the biggest cast of the entire saga, introducing a handful of new friends and enemies, including the mysterious Grace, played by Atwell.

Now that the release date for Mission: Impossible – Death Wages Part One is approaching, Atwell told Total Film (via GamesRadar) that she was busy on set for 100 days before she could start talking. This alludes to the saga’s action-focused production process, which the protagonist clearly enjoyed. Here is Atwell’s full comment:

“I came from the theater and I talk a lot. I’m used to the language. Language has always been my first weapon that I studied in drama school, including classics and plays… So, going into a saga like this and spending 100 days of pure physical and gestural display, I asked myself, “Am I expressive enough?” because I’m used to focusing on vocals as the main element.”

“You could see that there was a living feeling when watching the footage. The physical presence came from the chemistry we developed with Tom and my training with an amazing world class stunt team. So you can feel her energy and emotions and she doesn’t say anything.”

“Therefore, there is a feeling of participating in a seminar or master class about the pure cinematic experience and how it is all created. That’s where I had all my questions and chatter between scenes. In front of the camera, I found a new language that doesn’t require vocals.”

Because Mission: Impossible movies work with limited dialogue.

Since Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011, when the saga began focusing on stunts, dialogue has been sparingly used. Movies have relatively little character emotion, and dialogue is needed primarily to create momentum and plot. Typically, this exposition occurs at the beginning of the film during the obligatory “Mission Impossible, if you choose to accept it…” scene.

In addition, dialogue is used to insert moments of humor, reveal characters’ pasts, or set the stage for future stunts, which serve more flavor than story advancement. Like Buster Keaton’s silent films, the Mission: Impossible saga places action at the center of it. One of the reasons the last chapters have become so popular is because, in addition to the breathtaking stunts and action-packed action, the last chapters are cleverly used to tell the story and deepen the characters.

Early reviews for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One were almost universally positive, suggesting the approach worked again this time around. If the action wasn’t as well built and also couldn’t tell a story or go into character detail, the saga’s sparse dialogue approach wouldn’t work either. Luckily for audiences, director Christopher McQuarrie and Cruise have apparently perfected the visceral, physical filmmaking that sets it apart from almost every other major Hollywood saga.

Source: Total Film (via GamesRadar).

Key release dates:
– Mission Impossible – Paying for Death Part One: July 12, 2023
– Mission: Impossible – Paying for Death Part Two: June 28, 2024

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