Julia Roberts Was Almost Killed in ‘Mission Impossible’

in Movies

Julia Roberts

Credit: Relativity Media

Julia Roberts could have been in Tom Cruise‘s long-running Mission Impossible franchise, but it turns out it was too expensive to get the Academy Award-winning star of Pretty Woman (1990).

julia roberts
Credit: Touchstone Pictures

That should not be surprising in itself, given that Julia Roberts has been one of the world’s most famous actresses for decades, but it turns out it was not actually the cost of casting the star of My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) that was the problem, but CGI technology.

In a recent episode of the Empire Spoiler Special podcast, longtime Tom Cruise collaborator and Mission Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie revealed that Julia Roberts had been considered to appear in a flashback in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, the most recent installment in the series.

Tom Cruise Mission Impossible
Credit: Paramount

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Specifically, Julia Roberts would have appeared in a scene in which a young Ethan Hunt was with Marie, a lover from his past who is killed by Gabriel (Esai Morales). The role was played in the finished film by Mariela Garriga.

Originally, Christopher McQuarrie’s thought was that both Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts would be digitally de-aged, like Harrison Ford in the opening scene of the recent Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

However, Christopher McQuarrie said that “The only way I could have seen doing the sequence justice [using de-aging] 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 (Morales) and Tom, and Henry Czerny.”

McQuarrie went on to say that he “Got the bill for de-aging those people before their salaries were even factored into it. 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.”

That really makes it sound as though the cost of de-aging would have been significant enough to be a problem, which is flabbergasting to think, considering the budget for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was reportedly nearly $300 million (and isn’t making nearly as much money as expected).

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However, the concept of young Julia Roberts appearing alongside Tom Cruise is pretty interesting; while the two never shared the screen in their 1990s heyday, the pair were the biggest stars of the decade, and it would have been a nostalgic echo of their glory years. Too bad it would have cost too much.

Would you have liked to see Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise together? Let us know in the comments!

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