Film: Impossible

I have a pitch for the next Mission: Impossible: make two of them.

One would be Ethan Hunt’s team of regulars. The other would be Ilsa Faust’s newly-assembled UK version of the team. They tell two different but intersecting stories. To be clear: the films have to stand on their own. But maybe it’s the same villainous organization in both. Or maybe one team solves the American half of the problem while the other solves the UK half.

For extra fanboy attention, time-sync the two. Write and edit it so that if you split-screened the two films starting at the same time at least two scenes would show the same events from the two teams’ perspectives. Maybe one of them has the teams oblivious to the machinations of each other (working in opposition?) but the second, of course, has them working together.

But again: it’s crucial that each film not rely on the other for too much of its narrative. The intersections, from the narrative perspective, must be happy accident cameos and not plot-critical. Through careful storytelling maybe elements of one help you better appreciate the other, but a viewer only seeing one should never be confused.

Additional narrative bonus points:

  • Have elements in one film that would be vital to the other show up but be unappreciated because they are in the wrong context. For example, Ilsa’s team finds and discards the MacGuffin that Ethan’s team spends the entire film trying to get their hands on, simply because it’s meaningless to Ilsa.
  • Play with interpretation asymmetry (unreliable narrator). Maybe both teams see the exact same thing happen but each interprets it differently, driving their own story in a unique direction.

Release them both simultaneously over some big holiday weekend, like Christmas.