There’s a sense of everything coming full circle for Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force, and full circle usually means returning to your past to confront your future. That certainly seems to be the case with the latest piece of casting for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part II.
Franchise original Rolf Saxon has joined the cast of Tom Cruise‘s final outing as Hunt, the secret agent who’s tasked with saving the world in more dramatic ways with each installment of the franchise. Director Christopher McQuarrie announced the news on social media, as he has been doing of late when adding to his cast, seen recently when announcing the addition of Hannah Waddingham to Dead Reckoning Part II.
Saxon, of course, played the role of CIA analyst William Donloe in the 1996 Brian De Palma film, Mission: Impossible, which rebooted the television series into an action franchise. In the film, Saxon‘s Donloe is poisoned by Hunt and the other members of the IMF team in order to infiltrate a high-security CIA vault and steal the NOC list, which contained the identities and locations of every agent in deep cover across the world.
Due to his failure to protect the list, Donloe was subsequently fired from his position and relocated to a polar substation in Alaska, but it seems he has re-emerged in time to say thank you to Hunt for ruining his career, and his life. Saxon is not the only franchise original returning to the series for the first time since 1996, either.
Everything Comes Full Circle for Ethan Hunt
The former director of the IMF, Eugene Kittridge, will also be back. The character, played by Henry Czerny, initially blames Cruise‘s Ethan Hunt for the mission in Prague going wrong, and accuses him of being an internal spy, leading to the events of the film in which Cruise must find the real mole and clear his name. Vanessa Kirby also returns as Alanna Mitsopolis, a black-market arms dealer who’s the daughter of Max Mitsopolis, played by Vanessa Redgrave in Mission: Impossible. The film, directed and written by McQuarrie, stars Cruise, Saxon, Czerny, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham.
Not much is known so far about the plot of either Dead Reckoning movie, beyond more epic stuntwork, at this moment in time, other than what we were teased in the original trailer which debuted alongside Cruise‘s latest blockbuster, the Oscar-winning Top Gun: Maverick. Expectations are high going into Dead Reckoning following the critical and financial success of not just Maverick, but also Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Mission Impossible: Fallout, with the latter now considered one of the greatest action films ever made.
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One hits theaters on July 14, 2023. Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part Two comes on June 28, 2024.