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Wednesday, August 6, 2014
VOIGHT SUGGESTED DIFFERENT 'M:I' ENDING
GAVE IT TO CRUISE & DE PALMA, WHO "WASN'T INTERESTED"; VOIGHT FELT BAD ABOUT PHELPS


Jon Voight reveals to Crave Online's Fred Topel that he felt bad about spoiling the heroic image of Jim Phelps, the TV character he transferred to the big screen in Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible. He felt so bad, apparently, that he suggested a different ending. Here's the exchange between Voight and Topel:
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Topel: When the Mission: Impossible movies became such a successful franchise, did you regret the twist with Jim Phelps? You could have continued as a heroic character in the series.

Voight: I actually wrote another ending for the first movie and I gave it to Tom [Cruise]. I don’t know if I wrote it out, but I had this idea that they found messages coming and it was from Jim Phelps. They thought they killed him but they hadn’t killed him, and he returns, and the other guys return too. The people he thought were dead were not dead. It was all to try to get the mole. He was being used by us, but it didn’t work out.

Topel: Did you discuss that with Brian De Palma?

Voight: Yeah, I think I did. He wasn’t interested.

Topel: The thing was Jim was the hero on the TV show.

Voight: I felt badly about spoiling that image. I felt bad about it.

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Posted by Geoff at 7:46 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2014 7:10 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (18) | Permalink | Share This Post

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 11:15 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

so many die hard fans of the iconic tv show were pissed-off at what De Palma and Cruise did to Phelps that at least Paramount lost $200 million in box-office takings with a villanous Phelps and not including the original tv actors in the movie. Voights suggestion would have added a superior layer of intrigue and would have been a better film. As it stands this film isn't much of good story at all. As spy film for beginners.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 7:30 AM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

They couldn't get the original stars, but I like the story just fine as it is, and I thought it was more true-to-life to have Phelps turn out the way he did.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 4:01 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

de palma couldn't get the original tv actors because they refused in regard to Jim Phelps being portrayed as the villian. I doubr Tom Cruises ego in letting Ethan Hunt turning bad. I got nothing against good agents turning bad but not with Phelps. On internet forums a lot of people were pissed off with the unfortunate Phelps twist. It was obvious that Phelps was the traitor and anyone who says this simple spy story was complex should be embarrassed!

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 5:22 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

But it is precisely because it is the so-highly-regarded Phelps that it works so well. De Palma puts the audience in the same position as Ethan, to feel the tragedy almost as deeply as he does. The fact that people complained about it only cements that idea-- to quote Jack Nicholson in that Rob Reiner movie, they couldn't handle the truth! But Ethan Hunt could.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 5:54 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

In an adult, serious spy thriller, similar to John Hustons The Kremlin Letter I can believe in a duplicitous Jim Phelps that has believable moral ambiguity as portrayed by Richard Boone. That type of believable complexity is what De Palma should have brought to his teenage demographic Mission film. It was obvious in the first ten minutes Phelps was bad with the dialogue exchange of bad coffee at the safe house. The climax with the helicopter and the train belongs in a cartoon then a believable spy film abouts spies turning bad. Cruise will never let Hunt turn bad similar to Phelps as he wanted control of this franchise from the tv actors!

Friday, August 8, 2014 - 6:15 PM CDT

Name: "chrissy"

Im with Harry on this. The first film in this popular series was pretty ordinary and not what I expected at the time. Love to see the three and a half hour directors cut of MI2 which unfortunately has never been released.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 8:33 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

the first MI was boring. The second one was aloof and always wondered how Oliver Stones sci-fi take of a sentient computer in convincing all IMF agents are bad would have penned out. The third one was a rehash of the character elements of the first one and the story came off as a tv episode. The fourth one was just good and not great. Like Chrissy I would love to see the 3 and a half hour cut of MI2. If only Oliver Stone got to make his MI film. Still John Woo's can't be appreciated until the 3&1/2 hour R rated cut is finally released!

Saturday, August 9, 2014 - 11:22 PM CDT

Name: "Truleigh"

This is De palma doing M:I. Not M:I by De Palma. That may be a bitter pill for some to swallow. I love it. And M:I4 plays great homage to De Palma's version. Voight as the traitor - don't you get it? Lol. He is republican.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 5:08 AM CDT

Name: "Christian g"
Home Page: http://christiangrevstad@gmail.com

I'm surprised at the backlash against M:I.

In terms of pure cinema there's nothing better. The restaurant-scene and the Langley-break in display truly dynamic editing. The train-climax displays the feeling of speed like we've rarely seen. 

 

Look at the scene when Cruise walks up the steps outside (freeze frame that high angle with the street light and take a minute to appreciate it as a painting) and the makes it into the safe house. Talk about gorgeous compositions, subtle camera moves that build the atmosphere. 

Add to that the allegorical element that runs through the film.

 This is a master at work.

Seeing this news has eight comments, it reminds me of the discussion forum. I really wish we could discuss these things in the discussion forum (link on left on this site). It's really a shame these discussions are not around for people to comment and revisit going forward (as they would be on the forum). There hasn't been any activity on the board lately, which is really too bad.

Back in the days of the legendary briandepalma.net, it was amazing what a treasure trove of information those forums were. I think we were a good 100+ active posters in those days (at any given time). I realize today maybe most people have their own blogs to post their thoughts, but a discussion forum is quite a different beast. As great as this site is - and it IS great - I visit it every day - I can't help but miss those days of long, winding and opinionated discussions that took place regarding his work. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 12:55 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

Christian, I agree about the discussion forum-- those were indeed great days with a treasure trove of great discussions.

And I agree about MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-- the film is masterful, and definitely not boring. And there is a lot going on underneath the surface of the images, as well. I must have seen M:I at least 15 times when it originally played in theaters (as De Palma's biggest financial success, it managed to remain in theaters for many many weeks). It is a beautifully-crafted film, remarkable considering that De Palma was getting script revisions during filming from two different camps with different ideas about what should be happening. Yet, De Palma's vision is what drives the film, and he did begin by creating, with Steven Zaillion, set-piece ideas that he wanted to structure the film around. The set-pieces are terrific, and this has some of De Palma's most haunting flashbacks, as well as one of his most hauntingly beautiful images-- Emmanuelle Beart holding the remote in slow motion, as Ethan rolls it around in his head: could she have done that?

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 2:46 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatoz"

the masterful visual planning MI1 is the best aspect to the film with it's visual compositions. The only problem is the plot that I found predictable and the villian was obvious to me from the onset. A great visual stylist like De Palma was in need of a better story and less obvious villian.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 9:59 PM CDT

Name: "jessie"

It's not much of a surprise that De Palma made Phelps into a villian. If one looks at De Palma's masterwork Blow Out he took the Kennedy car crash with a dead prostitute and turned it into a R-wing conspiracy. Like Harry I think Mission:Impossible is beautifully crafted on a visual level but has a disjointed feel with slim story fitted around the impressive set-pieces desinged for teenagers. This film should have been' De Palma's North By Northwest.

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 1:21 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado.bg

... but instead, it became De Palma's Notorious, which is fine by this fan :)

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 4:31 PM CDT

Name: "anonymous"

Jessie and Harry; I'm surprised you put so much emphasis on the story, De Palma is a visual stylist, his art is purely visual - it is driven by the images, and this is where most of the meaning is created. 

The set pieces for in M:I weren't just for teenagers, but for Eisenstein, Keaton, Hithcock, Melville, Kubrick, Scorsese, Leone..

Geoff, I'm amazed  you saw M:I 15 tines in cinemas, I rarely watch films more than once in cinemas - two of my favorite films, Casino's Way and In the Mood for Love are exceptions - although I think you are absolutely right, Ideas planning on watching Passion a bunch of times, but of course that one ended up not making it. Where are you situated? The die hard fans ought to get together some time and watch a De Palma joint or two. For what it's worth I'm going to California this winter, but I don't know if there's anyone in the vicinity..

I remember the retrospective in Queens, NYC, which was great even if not too many of us got together.

 

Have you guys registered to the board yet? You all have valuable voices.

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 6:38 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

I see every De Palma film in theaters multiple times, and if I really like a movie, I will go see it more than once. I saw AMERICAN HUSTLE 3 or 4 times in the theater.

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 7:49 PM CDT

Name: "Christian g"
Home Page: http://christiangrevstad.WordPress.com

Jessie and Harry; I'm surprised you put so much emphasis on the story, De Palma is a visual stylist, his art is purely visual - it is driven by the images, and this is where most of the meaning is created. 

The set pieces for in M:I weren't just for teenagers, but for Eisenstein, Hithcock, Melville, Kubrick, Scorsese, Leone, Keaton , Lynch...

Geoff, I'm amazed  you saw M:I 15 times in cinemas, I rarely watch films more than once in cinemas - two of my favorite films, Casino's Way and In the Mood for Love are exceptions - although I think you are absolutely right, Ideas planning on watching Passion a bunch of times, but of course that one ended up not making it. Where are you situated? The die hard fans ought to get together some time and watch a De Palma joint or two. For what it's worth I'm going to California this winter, but I don't know if there's anyone in the vicinity..

I remember the retrospective in Queens, NYC, which was great even if not too many of us got together.

 

Have you guys registered to the board yet? You all have valuable voices.

P.s. Reposting this as I forgot to put my name on..

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 10:35 AM CDT

Name: "Arni"

I actually think I agree with all of you. I have always looked at M:I as a comedy, almost a spy movie spoof. The plot is ridiculous, and quite obvious. But De Palma makes it original and fun. As a comedy it is tremendous fun, filled with astonishing scenes building up to the helicopter scene which must be one of the best scenes ever. It's not my favourite De Palma film, but I love it. And it is easily the best one of the M:I films.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 1:30 PM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado.bg

I have also seen M:I 10+ times, because it's great on so many levels. Never seen a TV episode, though.

 

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