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16 Feasible Facts About the Mission: Impossible Movies

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The Tom Cruise-starring Mission: Impossible movie franchise brought new life and peel-off faces to the classic television series that inspired it. With its fifth installment, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, in theaters now, there’s no better time to look back—from a dangerously fast-moving vehicle for style points if you wish—at how we got here.

1. IT WAS TOM CRUISE'S IDEA TO TURN THE SHOW INTO A MOVIE.

The TV series Mission: Impossible aired on CBS from 1966 to 1973, and was briefly revived on ABC for two seasons in the late 1980s. Cruise was a fan of the original show and wanted to adapt it to the big screen for Paramount Pictures, who owned the rights.

2. THE TV ACTORS WEREN'T HAPPY WITH THE FILM VERSION.

Greg Morris, the man who played Barney Collier, left the first movie early, and presumably didn’t see any of the sequels. Peter Graves wasn’t pleased that the one character name they kept was the name of his TV character, Jim Phelps (played in the Mission: Impossible movie by Jon Voight). Martin Landau (Rollin Hand) revealed that in an early script, the old TV gang was supposed to appear briefly before getting killed, which he didn’t appreciate.

3. THE TV DIRECTOR WAS TOLD TO GO AWAY.

Reza Badiyi was behind the camera for more episodes of the Mission: Impossible series on ABC than anyone else, and was invited by Paramount to consult on the movie. Director Brian De Palma (very nicely) approached Badiyi on set and told him the movie wouldn’t be anything like the TV show, and that having him on set would make things uncomfortable. Badiyi thanked him for his candor and never came back.

4. JULIETTE BINOCHE AND RACHEL MCADAMS TURNED DOWN LEAD PARTS.

Binoche—who won an Oscar for The English Patient, which came out the same year as the first Mission: Impossible film—said no to playing Claire Phelps, not wanting to become completely known for appearing in American blockbusters (Emmanuelle Béart said yes). For M:I-3, McAdams opted not to play Ethan Hunt’s fiancée Julia Mead (Michelle Monaghan's part).

5. CRUISE AND VOIGHT DEALT WITH BIG WIND MACHINES IN THEIR FACES.

Cruise and Voight’s faces were up against a wind machine blowing gusts of up to 140 miles per hour. Cruise had dinner with the owners of the French high-speed TGV train service to convince them to let them film on it.

6. APPLE PAID $15 MILLION TO HAVE THEIR PERSONAL COMPUTERS IN THE FIRST MOVIE.

The money was also for print and TV ads, and Apple also launched an online game related to the movie. The company claimed that the 1996 agreement was the first partnership between a studio and a major high-tech firm to promote a movie.

7. SIR IAN MCKELLEN TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF SWANBECK IN MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II.

He felt that he couldn’t determine if the movie was any good after only receiving the parts of the script with his scenes in it, so McKellen turned the producers down (they ultimately went with Sir Anthony Hopkins). The next day, the actor was offered the part of Magneto and then Gandalf.

8. ROBERT TOWNE WAS STILL WRITING THE SCRIPT FOR THE SEQUEL AFTER FILMING HAD BEEN COMPLETED.

After needing to write around the big action sequences that were already planned, the Oscar-winning screenwriter was repeatedly flown in to continue rewriting the script during filming. This continued even when the movie was being editing.

9. SCARLETT JOHANSSON, KENNETH BRANAGH, CARRIE-ANNE MOSS, AND RICKY GERVAIS WERE ALL SLATED TO STAR IN M:I-3.

When production on the movie was pushed back because Cruise decided to work on War of the Worlds instead, original director David Fincher left due to “creative differences,” then another director—Joe Carnahan—walked away. Johannson left officially due to a scheduling conflict, and Gervais eventually left, too (Simon Pegg got his part instead). 

10. CRUISE MET KATIE HOLMES WHEN SHE AUDITIONED TO PLAY HIS FIANCÉE.

The role Holmes auditioned for (that McAdams initially turned down) eventually went to Michelle Monaghan.

11. J.J. ABRAMS GOT THE DIRECTOR GIG FOR THE THIRD MOVIE THANKS TO ALIAS.

Cruise binged on DVDs of Abrams’s spy show and liked it so much that he offered him his first job directing a movie.

12. ETHAN HUNT’S HOUSE WAS MADE TO LOOK JUST LIKE ABRAMS’S HOUSE.

When needing Cruise’s character to have an average, middle-class abode for the start of M:I-3, the director asked the production designer to design it just like his Los Angeles home. Abrams apparently found the similarity “a little disturbing.”

13. MAGGIE Q LEARNED HOW TO DRIVE FOR M:I-3.

The actress learned how to drive with a Lamborghini, which she said meant that driving was a downhill experience ever since: "What do you do after that?"

14. PARAMOUNT’S PROMOTION FOR THE THIRD MOVIE LED TO PANIC AND DESTRUCTION.

Paramount placed digital audio players that played the Mission: Impossible theme song when the doors to 4500 random vending boxes containing copies of the Los Angeles Times were opened. When some of the players came loose and landed on top of stacks of newspapers visible to anyone walking by or opening the boxes, they were confused for bombs. One newsstand was blown up by the Los Angeles County arson squad for precautionary reasons.

15. CRUISE CLIMBED THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD FOR GHOST PROTOCOL.

Usually performing his own stunts, Cruise topped himself by scaling the 2722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai without use of a stunt double.

16. HE ALSO WAS ACTUALLY OUTSIDE OF THE PLANE IN ROGUE NATION.

Similar to France’s TGV train employees for the first film, France’s Airbus Group plane company initially refused to loan a plane out of safety concerns for Cruise, until ultimately relenting. After testing with a dummy, Cruise performed eight takes of the scene in which he is tethered to the side of the plane—5000 feet up in the air, going 184 miles per hour. If something went wrong, the door was assembled so that he could be pulled inside the plane.

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11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger
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Paramount Pictures

It takes just 14 words—“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—to make a ‘90s kid swoon with nostalgia. Good Burger, the beloved Nickelodeon comedy about a couple of daft teens who try to save their fast food joint from corporate greed, was born out of a Kenan Thompson/Kel Mitchell sketch on All That in the mid-'90s. A year later, due to its popularity, it found itself being turned into its own live-action movie, with Brian Robbins at the helm. Today—20 years after its original release—it’s a silly cult hit that’s indelibly a part of Generation Y. Revisit the classic with these facts about Good Burger.

1. KEL MITCHELL AUDITIONED FOR ALL THAT WITH HIS CHARACTER FROM GOOD BURGER.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Kel Mitchell explained how he came up with Ed. “I did a ‘dude’ voice, and that’s where Ed [from Good Burger] was kind of born,” he said. “I did that there at the audition. They were just cracking up.”

2. ED’S FIRST APPEARANCE WAS IN THE JOSH SERVER SKETCH, “DREAM REMOTE.”

Essentially, Good Burger was born out of a random character decision made during one little sketch. “It was where [Josh] could have a remote control that could control his entire life,” Mitchell told The A.V. Club. “So, he could fast-forward through his sister nagging, he could make pizza come really quickly. I was the pizza guy. I came to the door, and the pizza guy didn’t really have a voice, so I was like, ‘Mleh, here’s your pizza! That was the first time we saw Ed, and so they created Good Burger.”

3. ED’S LOOK WAS INSPIRED BY MILLI VANILLI.

When prepping for Ed’s debut on All That, Kel Mitchell spotted what would become the character’s signature look. “I remember I went to the hair room, and I saw these braids. It was like these early Brandy ’90s Milli Vanilli braids. I put those on, and it came to life,” he told The A.V. Club.

4. THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF MEAT STUNK UP THE SET.

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For a movie all about burgers, you better believe the production had a ton of them sitting around on set. "At one point, there was over 1750 pounds of meat on the set," Kenan Thompson told The Morning Call. "Some of it was old meat. It was so nasty. Some of the burgers would stay out there for a long time. I felt sorry for the extras who had to eat them with cold, clammy fries. But on screen, those burgers look good."

5. ELMER’S GLUE WAS USED TO KEEP THE FOOD LOOKING FRESH.

In order to keep the food looking good on screen, the production resorted to old, albeit inedible, tricks. "It was so gross, because when I scoop out ice cream in the movie, it was really vegetable shortening with food coloring,” Mitchell told The Morning Call. “When I poured milk on cereal, we used Elmer's Glue so the flakes wouldn't get soggy."

6. KENAN AND KEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD BURGER SOUNDTRACK.

Good Burger was their baby, so of course Kenan and Kel took the reins on more than just the creation of the characters, according to a 1997 interview with The Morning Call. Specifically, Kel partnered up with Less Than Jake on the hit song, “We’re All Dudes.” Because of this, the soundtrack actually charted at 101 on the Billboard 200.

7. GOOD BURGER WAS LINDA CARDELLINI’S FEATURE FILM DEBUT.

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In an interview with The A.V. Club, the Freaks and Geeks star reminisced about her breakout role in the Nickelodeon movie. “That’s my sister’s favorite role that I’ve ever played! It was so much fun. It was my first film, and it was a fantastic part,” Cardellini said. “I got to play crazy! Nobody knew who I was, and I got the part from the table read.”

8. WRITER DAN SCHNEIDER INTENDED TO GIVE UP ACTING WHEN HE WROTE GOOD BURGER, BUT HE PLAYED MR. BAILY IN THE FILM.

On creating Good Burger, writer/producer/actor Dan Schneider explained to The A.V. Club: “I’ve always wanted to write, and after I was doing All That and Kenan & Kel, I got the opportunity to do another TV show—I was still going on auditions. I realized that if I took that show, I was going to have to give up All That and Kenan & Kel. I really didn’t want to do [that] ... I passed on the acting role, and that was really the turning point, I guess, in 1996, when I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put my acting career on the back burner, and I’m going to be a writer-producer.’ Then I wrote the movie Good Burger.” However, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice Schneider starring as Mr. Baily.

9. THE ORIGINAL TRAILER FEATURED A SCENE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE.

For reasons that remain a mystery, a scene where a Good Burger customer orders “a good shake” from Ed (Mitchell), only to receive an actual bodily shaking from the Good Burger employee, didn’t make the final cut. It did, however, feature for a few seconds in the theatrical trailer.

10. KENAN AND KEL REUNITED FOR A GOOD BURGER SKETCH ON THE TONIGHT SHOW.

In 2015, Kenan and Kel reunited for a Good Burger sketch with Jimmy Fallon. This time, however, Fallon played Ed’s co-worker, while Kenan came in as a construction worker as a surprise. "We've been wanting to get back together," Mitchell told E! News. "It was just about the right project ... it felt like home."

11. THE FIRST LINE IN THE FILM IS THE SAME AS THE LAST LINE.

Appropriately, the line is, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—just watch the movie.

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