Mission: Impossible recruits Angela Bassett for next impossible mission


For its sixth installment, Mission: Impossible casts Angela Bassett, demonstrating why it is one of Hollywood’s most exciting franchises.

Five movies in, most franchises self-destruct, bogged down by convoluted mythology or shallow fan service. Mission: Impossible isn’t one of them. On the contrary, it has gotten better, hitting a high with the most recent entry, 2015’s Rogue Nation.

Still, we await Mission: Impossible 6 with mixed feelings. What if the streak ends here? Director Christopher McQuarrie’s return should inspire confidence. Yet, the series owes its continued vitality in part to its constantly evolving style. Until now, each film had a different director, who put his (always his) own spin on the ostensibly generic material. As much as we love Rogue Nation, we don’t want a retread.

Recent news boosts our confidence. On Thursday, McQuarrie sent the following vague tweet:

Wait, does that mean what we think it means? Deadline confirms that it does: Angela Bassett, Oscar nominee and all-around boss, is joining the cast of Mission: Impossible 6.

Hold on while we do a happy dance.


Bassett plays an as-yet-unnamed C.I.A. director. From that, we can guess a couple things. First, her character will clash with Tom Cruise’s super-agent Ethan Hunt and/or Alec Baldwin’s IMF secretary Alan Hunley. Second, she’ll get to wear a sharp suit. We just hope she gets to participate in the action. Frankly, it’s shameful that Bassett didn’t catapult to action stardom after Strange Days.

Mission: Impossible has an uneven track record when it comes to female characters. Generally speaking, they are thinly written but elevated by charismatic performers (see Thandie Newton in Mission: Impossible 2 in particular). Even when they aren’t tokens, they don’t interact with each other. Aside from Michelle Monaghan’s cameo in Ghost Protocol, no actress has appeared in multiple installments.

At the very least, 6 bucks the last trend. Rebecca Ferguson (who deserves as much praise for her Rogue Nation performance as Charlize Theron got for Mad Max: Fury Road) is set to reprise her role as Ilsa Faust. If she and Bassett get to share the screen, it’ll surely be mesmerizing.

Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Sean Harris will also return. Jeremy Renner won’t, most likely due to scheduling conflicts with Marvel’s latest Avengers movie. Henry Cavill joins Bassett as a newcomer.

Bassett is in demand. In addition to appearing in the past four seasons of American Horror Story, she recently nabbed guest spots on Underground and Master of None. Next year, she’ll be seen alongside Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.

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Mission: Impossible 6 is slated for release on July 27, 2018.