Director Brian De Palma on turning down Mission: Impossible 2

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Brian De Palma has been reflecting on his time making Mission: Impossible, and turning down the sequel.

Director Brian De Palma may be one of a legion of filmmakers who struggle to get a movie into cinemas of late – and that was before the spread of Coronavirus – but for a period of time, he was one of Hollywood’s go-to directors. And, also, the flat-out king of the movie set piece in mainstream movies.

In a new interview with AP News, he’s been reflecting in particular on the period in the 1990s where he went from making Carlito’s Way (a film we did a podcast on, here) to Mission: Impossible, arguing “it doesn’t get much better than that”.

“You have all the power and tools at your disposal”, he argues. “When you have the Hollywood system working for you, you can do some remarkable things. But as your movies become less successful, it gets harder to hold on to the power and you have to start making compromises”.

De Palma steadfastly resisted making sequels to his work, and recalls that after the first Mission: Impossible hit big, “Tom [Cruise] asked me to start working on the next one”.

The director though said “are you kidding? One of these is enough. Why would anybody want to make another one?”. The resultant box office, and quality of the films too, has long answered that question. But De Palma, reflecting on his choice, said “I was never a movie director to make money, which is the big problem of Hollywood. That’s the corruption of Hollywood”.

De Palma is developing his next film, Catch And Kill, that he had planned to shoot in August. Quite what the plan for that is going forward remains to be seen.

The full interview can be found here.

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