You read the headline "Christopher McQuarrie Would Rather Have Leprosy Than Direct Mission: Impossible 7", and you probably think, "That seems like an extreme thing to say!" But then you hear where the filmmaker's head is at on all this, and it actually makes perfect sense.
The director of this summer's best action movie (and, indeed, one of the year's best films) recently appeared on the Empire podcast, where he explained why contracting a debilitating, flesh-eating disease would be preferable to a third-at bat with Ethan Hunt. Here's what he had to say, as quoted by The Playlist:
“Eddie Hamilton [Editor on Fallout], every day in the editing room was like, ‘Come on, man, it’s obviously a trilogy you’re coming back, you have to finish it, you didn’t kill Lane,’ and I was like, ‘It’s somebody else’s problem.’ Tom [Cruise] has asked, the studio has asked, and I was like, ‘You know maybe I’ve got an idea for…’ and then the reviews came out and I was like, ‘Get outta here. Just stop.’ I felt so bad for the director of Mission 6 and I feel even worse of the director of 7. I’d rather have leprosy than be in the position of the person having to confront the pressure of the hyperbole of this movie on their first day of shooting the film. It’s too much to confront. I’d need a long nap before I could contemplate it.”
Imagine the insane pressure McQuarrie must've felt in the wake of Rogue Nation's success: not only was he the first director to helm a second Mission: Impossible film, he was following himself on one of the best-reviewed entries in the franchise. Now imagine doing that again, after the spectacular response to Fallout. Would you want that job? We sure as hell wouldn't. Dunno if we'd prefer leprosy, but we'd definitely be disinclined.
It's worth noting that McQuarrie doesn't completely shut the door on making another Mission: Impossible - that quote ends with him saying he'd "need a long nap" before even contemplating it - but it's probably safe to assume he won't be back for the next one ... and there'll almost certainly be a next one: Fallout's been doing gangbusters business since it opened, with audiences showing no signs of the franchise fatigue that tends to plague this kind of long-running blockbuster series.
A few weeks ago, we weighed in on who we'd like to see direct the next one. Maybe Paramount will take our advice on one of those picks. Stay tuned for more on the inevitable Mission: Impossible 7, as further updates become available.