July 11, 2023
Melinda Head

Another Dose of “Mission: Impossible”

7 down, at least 1 more to go

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (Part One)” will be released in North American theaters tomorrow. Part Two is already mostly in the can, slated for release in 2024. That’ll bring the franchise to 8 installments.

“Mission: Impossible” is based on the 1966 TV series created by Bruce Geller, which he wrote, produced and directed. The brilliant, timeless accompaniment to the series, “Theme from Mission: Impossible”, was composed by Argentine Lalo Schifrin.

New Yorker Bruce Geller, the mastermind behind “Mission: Impossible”

The first woman to run an independent Hollywood studio, we have Lucille Ball to thank for “Mission: Impossible”. It was she, co-founder of Desilu Productions, who took a chance on Geller’s screenplay.

“Mission: Impossible” ran on CBS from 1966-1973, was revived by ABC in 1988 and aired until 1990.

Bruce Geller never experienced the full success of his crime drama brainchild. He died in 1978 at age 47 when the small plane he was flying crashed.

Meanwhile, 5 years later, in a completely unconnected moment in time, busboy and struggling self-taught actor Tom Cruise graced the screens in an underwear dance scene in “Risky Business” that would catapult him into stardom.

Box office hits “Top Gun”, “The Color of Money” and “Rain Man” followed for Cruise in quick succession.

The first “Mission: Impossible” movie was released in 1996. With initial development by Sydney Pollack, it was directed by Brian De Palma (“Thelma and Louise”), and produced by and starred - surprise, surprise - Tom Cruise. Other greats such as Jon Voight (“Coming Home”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”), Vanessa Redgrave (“Julia”) and Jean Reno (“The Professional”) also joined the cast.

Tom Cruise 1996, age 34, and 2023, age 60 (he turned 61 on July 3rd)

“Mission: Impossible” was Cruise/Wagner Productions’ inaugural project after numerous efforts by Paramount Pictures (with its Desilu legacy portfolio) to create a film adaptation of the TV series did not materialize. The Company was founded by Tom Cruise and his long-time agent, Paula Wagner.

This is Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise’s former agent and long-time business partner

C/W Productions gave Cruise more control over projects he acted in and more of the profits. The Company was shuttered in 2008 when Paramount Pictures pulled the plug on their joint arrangement.

Tom Cruise’s personal wealth soared last year when “Top Gun: Maverick” brought in $1.49 billion. Comparatively, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise has earned just $3 billion from 6 films since 1996. The most successful and last installment, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, accounted for $787.2 million.

Can this number be topped?

If you’re hoping for a “Tom Cruisey Tom Cruise” movie, the experts say you won’t be disappointed. With a seemingly good product and Tom Cruise on the playbill, big crowds can be expected.

Now that you’ve read today’s blog, why not take what you’ve learned and play today’s matching quiz on your Quizefy app.? Many of the answers can be found right here.

We publish a trending, hint-filled blog at www.quizefy.com every Tuesday, along with a matching quiz on our Quizefy app. We think they’re a great combination and a great way to Strut Your Smart.

Next Tuesday, July 18th, we cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off in Australia/New Zealand on July 20th. My lucky audio-engineer neighbor is already there, she’ll be handling the sub-mixing.

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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