10 Things You Might Not Know About MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2

"Difficult" should be a walk in the park for Geek Dave.

1. Although production was delayed multiple times for a variety of reasons, Tom Cruise offered Mission: Impossible director Brian De Palma the chance to return direct the sequel, but De Palma declined. In fact, on every occasion Cruise has asked the previous installment's director to return for the sequel to their movies, all except for one - John Woo.

2. Woo wasn't the first director approached after De Palma declined to return, that was Oliver Stone. He had collaborated with Cruise on Born on the Fourth of July and reportedly wrote a treatment for M:I-2 but ended up backing out of the project due to scheduling conflicts resulting from Cruise's prolonged production on Eyes Wide Shut.

3. Third times a charm, and Cruise looking to inject more action into the sequel approached John Woo. And action, above everything else, seemed to be Woo's agenda as according to Robert Towne, who provided the screenplay from Ronald D Moore & Brannon Braga's story, much of his script was written around action scenes that Woo told him he wanted to be able to direct in the movie.  

4. Mission: Impossible 2 was released in theaters worldwide on May 24th 2000 and became the highest-grossing film of the year (it was also the highest-grossing film in the series until 2011 Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol). But despite it's success at the box office the film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences, performances, direction, score and dramatic depth, but took issue with the plot, dialogue and pacing.

It seems a lot of that can be put down to the fact that director John Woo's first cut of this movie clocked in at three and a half hours. Paramount Pictures balked at this length, and told him that the final length could not exceed two hours. This would likely explain why there are so many plot holes and continuity errors in the theatrical cut.

5. That three and a half hour version was also looking at an R rating, but after many action scenes were cut and the violence trimmed down considerably the finished product was re-rated PG-13.

6. During production Paramount Pictures expressed concern over the safety of shooting Ethan Hunt's entrance in the film, where he is free solo climbing in Moab, Utah's Dead Horse Point State Park. Even director John Woo objected to Cruise performing the stunt (largely as Woo himself is afraid of heights), but Cruise refused to drop the idea because he could not think of a better way to reintroduce the character.

There was no safety net as Cruise filmed the sequence, but he did have a harness with cables which were digitally removed. Cruise tore his shoulder when performing the jump from one part of the cliff to another.

7. Dougray Scott plays Sean Ambrose in Mission: Impossible 2. Before filming began he had been cast as Logan/Wolverine in the feature film version of X-Men, but when M:I-2 went over schedule, and Scott was injured in a motorbike accident, he was forced to drop out of X-Men and was replaced by Hugh Jackman in X-Men.

8. The part of Mission Commander Swanbeck was originally offered to Sir Ian McKellen, but he was not able to accept the role, due to a prior theatre engagement in London, so the part eventually went to Sir Anthony Hopkins. Had McKellen accepted it, the production's overruns would have prevented him from playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and like Dougray Scott, he would also have missed out on X-Men.

9. For the "knife-in-the-eye" scene, Tom Cruise insisted that a real knife be used, and that it stop exactly one quarter-inch from his eyeball, instead of somewhere vaguely near his eye, as director John Woo suggested.

The knife was connected to a cable that was measured carefully in order to achieve the effect, and Cruise insisted that Dougray Scott use all of his strength in the ensuing struggle.

10. To date, six films into the franchise, this is the only Mission: Impossible movie where Ethan Hunt is actually working for the I.M.F. and not on the run, working outside I.M.F., and/or disavowed. In Mission: Impossible (1996), Ethan is believed to be a mole, and is disavowed. In Mission: Impossible III (2006), Ethan is eventually on the run from the I.M.F. after he is believed to be an enemy. In Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011), the I.M.F. is shut down. In Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015), the I.M.F. is disbanded, and Ethan is considered a rogue Agent. In Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018), Ethan and his team are chased by the C.I.A. after the agency's assassin Walker turns on them, so the C.I.A. disavows the I.M.F. suspecting them as traitors and believing the I.M.F. is obsolete.

20 Things You Might Not Know About Mission: Impossible

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