Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but as a cinematic action hero, he goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. At 53, he is still acting the hell out of the role of Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation with the same energy and charisma he did when the franchise started in 1996 (yes, it really has been 19 years since the first one). With each installment, the stakes get higher, the action more heart-racing and the stunts more death-defying. If Cruise had it his way, he'd probably playing the role until he's 100, and there might just be enough M:I movies to keep him going. Rogue Nation hasn't even been out for a week, but there are already rumors of a sequel in the works. If they're true, then what will Mission: Impossible 6 be about?
It's no surprise that there would be a part six installment of the series. Cruise IS Ethan Hunt. He even told CinemaBlend that it's the only role he is willing to reprise. If he didn't serve up a couple of more movies, then fans would surely be upset. Plus, at the end of Rogue Nation, the door was left wide open for a sequel (spoilers ahead!). After the disbanded team of IMF members led by Hunt take down an anti-IMF syndicate trying to build a network of terrorists, the team gets reinstated by CIA head Hunley (Alec Baldwin) — who becomes the new secretary the IMF. That's the last thing learned before the signature Mission: Impossible theme song comes on and the end credits roll, leading viewers to believe that the IMF adventures will undoubtedly continue. If it's true, here are a few theories for what could happen next.
1. More Rebecca Ferguson
Ferguson was clearly a standout in Rogue Nation, and chances are she'll be back for the sixth. But there were times when, in the film, she seemed like she was being controlled a little too much. At the end of the movie she is finally free from the syndicate, and it would be great to see what she does with that newfound independence. Also, at one moment in the movie, she saves Hunt from death — more moments like that would be highly entertaining in future films.
2. Another Death-Defying Stunt
Cruise's dance with death for the sake of blockbuster entertainment didn't really start until he scaled the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol. In Rogue Nation he literally hangs from the side of a plane while it takes off. I am dying to see what he does next to top that.
3. The Return Of The Team
Seeing Hunt work by himself is cool, but when he works with a team, there is 10 times more excitement. After five films, I think he's finally found a group that works very well. He's always had Luther (Ving Rhames), but with the addition of Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and now Isla (Ferguson) and Hunley, there's a truly great chemistry that should definitely stay.
4. Meryl Streep Will Be The Villain
This is only a suggestion, but I (and I am sure other people feel the same) would love to see this happen. The franchise has had some great bad guys (my personal fave is Philip Seymour Hoffman in M:I 3), but a female villain would add a whole new level of greatness.... and what better actor to play a villain than the greatest actress of our time?
Whatever choices the studio makes with Mission: Impossible 6, I'm pretty sure that the resulting film will just be as action-packed, if not more so than the previous five movies. Cruise and his team have always managed to top themselves with each movie, so why would they stop now?
Images: Paramount Pictures (2); Getty Images (3)