Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation has just made its U.S. theaters debut, and it's a must-see for any fans of the action genre. This time around, the beloved Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is in peril as he tries to obtain more information about an organization called the Syndicate, which he believes is made up of a collection of international rogue agents who have all been declared dead by their home nations' intelligence agencies. The twist? Hunt has to take on this mission without the support of the U.S., as the government has officially dismantled the IMF. Is it possible that Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is based on a true story? It's certainly a different spin from the previous MI films, and it also brings in elements of international relations that are reminiscent of real life.
As with many films involving the government and politics of actual nations, there are definitely pieces of the real world within the movie. For example, there are mentions of actual government organizations such as the CIA, and the "Syndicate" pursued by Hunt may be a play on the infamous National Crime Syndicate and other organized crime groups. However, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is ultimately a work of fiction based on many other works of fiction. Here is a look at the origins of the MI franchise, from 2015 back to the very start.
First, there's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, the latest film in the franchise, which is in the same vein as:
Mission: Impossible 2, Mission: Impossible 3, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.
Which were all follow-ups to:
Mission: Impossible (1996) — the first introduction to Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt!
Which was based on:
Mission Impossible (1966-1973). This hugely popular television series initially ran for seven seasons, and then was reprised for two more seasons in 1988 but with only one original cast member.
Which was inspired by:
Topkapi, a 1964 movie from Jules Dassin which was considered by many to be the first true heist film.
Which was based on:
Eric Ambler's 1962 novel The Light of Day. This thriller was one of the author's best-known works and has been reprinted multiple times.
So, the origins of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation go all the way back to 1962. Interestingly, this was also the same year that MI star Tom Cruise was born. It could be a coincidence, but you never know... *cue theme music*
Images: Getty Images, Paramount Pictures (6); United Artists; Knopf Doubleday