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What Caused Tom Cruise To Cut Content From The Mission: Impossible 7 Script?

There's no question that Tom Cruise is Hollywood's last great action star, stemming, of course, from his death-defying stunts in the "Mission: Impossible" film series and the 2022 mega-hit, "Top Gun: Maverick."

But as Cruise's "M:I" colleagues have discovered over the course of working with him over the course of the blockbuster film series, the actor-producer's stunt work is only one of his concerns. In fact, Cruise takes every aspect of the film into account, including the customers who are paying to see it.

As such, Cruise took the initiative with the latest "M:I" installment, "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1," to cut specific content from the film over his concerns about how well it would play with its prospective audiences. In an interview with The Times in the U.K., Cruise's "Dead Reckoning Part 1" co-star Hayley Atwell said since the actor-filmmaker doesn't want moviegoers to feel like the movie is talking down to them, he'll take the appropriate action to prevent that from ever happening.

"He doesn't want to make movies now to punish an audience," Atwell told The Times. "He doesn't want films with the message that if you do not understand this, you're not smart... I can tell when I watch some movies that the director has made it for themselves. I don't feel involved, or I think, 'Am I stupid?' Tom's not a snob."

Citing an example, Atwell told The Times that during a reading of the "Dead Reckoning Part 1" script, Cruise told the crew that he didn't get a particular line. So, since Cruise didn't understand the line, he felt the audience wouldn't get it either and it was cut from the movie.

Pegg loves Cruise's regular guy demeanor

In "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1," Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his fellow Impossible Mission Force agents are on the hunt for two separate halves of a key that, when combined, have the power to control The Entity, an artificial intelligence system that has become self-aware and thus a danger to the entire globe. However, if any of the governments also seeking the key come to possess it, they will become the world's most dominant power.

"Dead Reckoning Part 1" marks the fifth time Simon Pegg has worked with Cruise on an "M:I" film, which began with "Mission: Impossible III" in 2006. In his interview with The Times, Pegg said part of the reason he's enjoyed working with Cruise over the past 17 years is that in reality, the film giant isn't as intimidating as he might appear to people.

Pegg told The Times that once he was able to hack his way through the lore surrounding Cruise, he discovered the action icon's sense of normalcy. "On one side he's Tom Cruise — this enigmatic film star everyone wants to know about — and on the other, he's just a guy," Pegg told the publication. "I like being normal with him."

Among the normal things, Pegg revealed to The Times, is that Cruise takes part in all aspects of a film, going so far as to even help out the production's on-set caterers. Hayley Atwell added for The Times that Cruise is so caring about his crew that he even gave a cinematography guide to a runner on the film because the person had hopes of being a cinematographer.

McQuarrie and Pegg say Cruise wants to bring people together through his movies

Perhaps alluding to part of the reason why Tom Cruise skipped the 2023 Oscars, longtime "Mission: Impossible" director and co-writer Christopher McQuarrie told The Times that moviegoers are first and foremost at the top of his collaborator's mind, unlike the selections honored at the Academy Awards. "There is an outsized importance placed on Oscars [and] films that not many people are going to see," McQuarrie observed for The Times. As such, McQuarrie told the publication, a wedge has been driven into the film industry over the quandary.

Also speaking about Cruise's focus on the moviegoer, Simon Pegg commends Cruise for his resolve of being a unifier in times of deep division. "People can argue that cinema is frivolous, but it's not," Pegg observed for The Times. "Cinema brings people together at a time we're pulling apart, and that just added to Tom's determination to put people in a room together."

And if Cruise is indeed going to get everybody in the same room, he's intent on giving his audience everything he's got— especially when it comes to performing his own stunts. "With special effects, you know something is artificial — it removes a degree of tension — so Tom pushes things to the limit, to the point of risking his life," Pegg told The Times.

Also starring Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby, Pom Klementieff, and Esai Morales, "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1" is playing in theaters.