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The Truth Finally Comes Out About Why David Fincher's Mission Impossible 3 Never Happened

The movie franchise "Mission Impossible" is known for its death-defying stunts, quick disguises, and scheming villains who threaten the stability of the world. The first "Mission Impossible," which came out in 1996, contains the famous scene of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) suspended from wires as he attempts to infiltrate a government compound, which continues to be lampooned and referenced even today. This movie involved betrayals and corruption within government agencies. Its sequel, "Mission Impossible II," took on a slightly different tack and was about a powerful biological agent named Chimera that was developed as a means of ransoming the world. Needless to say, the "Mission Impossible" series loves its bombastic set pieces and high-stakes action.

David Fincher is a famous film director with a rather distinctive style. Known for his work on films like "Fight Club," "Alien 3," and "Seven," Fincher's artistic vision usually entails gritty and grounded personal stories with backdrops of complete horror and trauma. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Fincher spoke about how modern-day movies are either a "spandex summer" or an "affliction winter" prestige film and that he doesn't fit in either category, and said, "There will always be people who are poking and prodding and digging and searching for new ways to do the same thing, and new ways to do things that we haven't even yet imagined. Look, directing movies is a little like painting a watercolor from three blocks away through a telescope with a walkie-talkie and 90 people holding the brush. And as frustrating as that sounds, it's also thrilling and invigorating when it comes off." At one point, Fincher was attached to direct "Mission Impossible III," but why did that not come to fruition?

Tom Cruise thought Fincher's vision for Mission Impossible III wouldn't fit with the franchise

Appearing on the 200th episode of the "Light the Fuse" podcast, Cruise was asked about David Fincher's brief tenure on "Mission Impossible III." The actor detailed the decision to not move forward with a Fincher-helmed project, saying "We didn't move forward because they just... like any movie... you know, he's so talented, and it would've just been very different. A lot of people, and I've worked with a lot of writers and different directors on it, that never really grasp what works about the franchise. So, that's where we went. It just wasn't something that was, I don't know what it would've been, it wasn't kind of embracing what 'Mission' is."

The legendary actor continued by saying that he respects the directors who have been attached to the "Mission Impossible" franchise that don't actually get to work on the films. Even though Cruise would love to work with these directors, he is laser-focused on providing a consistent experience across the "Mission Impossible" films. Considering Fincher's catalog of movies, his version of "Mission Impossible III" would have probably been a stark departure from the previous films, which would have more than likely, created some jarring tonal shifts for longtime fans of the series. Either way, it sounds like Cruise respects Fincher's work but didn't think he was quite the right fit for the "Mission Impossible" stable of movies.