Julia Roberts was ALMOST cast in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Julia Roberts was considered for a very small role in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, according to director Christopher McQuarrie.
In the latest Mission: Impossible movie, there is a flashback sequence in which we see a young Ethan Hunt trying to save a woman who has been shot by villain Gabriel, who in the present day represents a major threat against humanity - a hostile Artificial Intelligence known as 'The Entity'.
The plan was for Tom Cruise to be de-aged in this scene with a famous actress also de-aged, and that actress was set to be Roberts until the plan was scrapped.
“I said, ‘OK, if I were doing this sequence, it would be Tom in, say, 1989. It would be Tony Scott’s Mission: Impossible. That’s who would have been directing the movie before Brian De Palma, you know, in that era," McQuarrie said on the Empire podcast.
“We looked at Days of Thunder and we looked at the style of it, and we started thinking what would it look like if Tony Scott had shot this, and who would it have been? I looked back at who was the ingenue, who was the breakout star in 1989? And right around then was Mystic Pizza. And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Julia Roberts, a then-pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts, as this young woman.’
"The only way I could have seen doing the sequence justice was to somehow convince Julia Roberts to come in and be this small role at the beginning of this story. And of course, as you’re conceptually going through it, you’re like, ‘Now all anybody’s going to be doing is thinking about the de-aging of Julia Roberts, and Esai and Tom, and Henry Czerny.’”
The scene was deemed too expensive
McQuarrie reveals that, as well as the distraction aspect, the scene would simply have been too expensive to de-age all these A-listers.
"I got the bill for de-aging those people before their salaries were even factored into it," he revealed.
"And if you put two of them in a shot together, or three of them in a shot together, it would have been as expensive as the train by the time we were done. It was so … the force multiplier of — and the way we shoot scenes, and the fluidity, and the camera movement.
"And of course, that wouldn’t be the style of the movie in 1989. That wouldn’t make sense if you were shooting an ’89 ‘Mission’ like a 2023 ‘Mission.’”