After Star Wars, Steven Spielberg Also Had a Hand in Bringing Tom Cruise’s Death-Defying Franchise to Life

If you’re a fan of the Mission: Impossible franchise, you owe a debt of gratitude to none other than Steven Spielberg. That’s right, the legendary filmmaker, 77, not only inspired Tom Cruise to offer the directing gig to Brian De Palma for the first film in the series, but he also played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of Cruise’s career.

Mission: Impossible, which was released in 1996, is one of Cruise’s most notable films. This marked not only his first work as a producer, but also his first serious attempt at a major franchise. But above all, it is an exceptional film that sets the standard for the greatest franchise that continues to this day.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible (1996) Image via Paramount Pictures

Back in 2021, during a chat with Collider, Cruise revealed that his close relationship with Spielberg had a profound impact on his decision to hire De Palma for Mission: Impossible. The actor also related how, when they used to live next door, he would have “dinner” discussions with Spielberg about movies.

Steven Spielberg Effect: When Tom Cruise Reflected on the Genesis of Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise’s close relationship with Steven Spielberg was a substantial factor in his decision to hire Brian De Palma in Mission: Impossible, according to a 2021 Collider clip. According to the actor, Spielberg used to live “down the street from him, and they would“often” talk about movies over dinner.

“Spielberg lived down the street from me, and I would often go and have dinner just he and I. We would go and just talk about movies, as we did. And I would often get him to screen one of his movies and then we’d talk about it.. ”

Steven Spielberg, 77, inspired Tom Cruise to hire Brian De Palma as director of the first film in the Mission: Impossible franchise.Steven Spielberg, 77, inspired Tom Cruise to hire Brian De Palma as director of the first film in the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Steven Spielberg | Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

It was during one of these evenings that he found himself in the company of De Palma, which sparked the idea to approach the director for the 1996 action-packed spy thriller.

“I remember one night I went over and there was Brian De Palma, and so the three of us had dinner. And we were just talking about movies and there’s Brian, and I’d seen all of his films, and I went home that night – Mission was on my mind.. ”

After immersing himself in De Palma’s filmography, Cruise was convinced that he was the perfect fit for helming Mission: Impossible. The actor shared:

“And I went home that night and I stayed up for about 14 hours and I just got all of De Palma’s movies and I restudied all of them… I just went, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s gotta direct Mission: Impossible.’”

The collaboration proved to be a stroke of genius, as the film not only solidified Cruise’s status as a leading man in Hollywood but also set the stage for the successful franchise that we know and love today.

From Spielberg’s influence to Cruise’s keen eye for talent, every decision made along the way has contributed to the enduring success of the franchise.

Not Just Mission: ImpossibleSteven Spielberg Shaped the Future of Star Wars?

When you think of iconic film franchises, one that immediately comes to mind is Star Wars. Steven Spielberg‘s influence on the film industry is undeniable, from classics like Jaws and ET the Extra-Terrestrial to award-winning dramas like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. But did you know Spielberg also played a significant role in bringing the Star Wars franchise to life?

Also, Spielberg played a significant role in bringing the Star Wars franchise to life.Also, Spielberg played a significant role in bringing the Star Wars franchise to life.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope (Credit: Disney+)

While George Lucas is credited with creating and masterminding Star WarsSpielberg was a close friend and collaborator who had a significant influence on the series’ development.

Spielberg was involved with the original Star Wars project from the start. Lucas received a mixed bag of responses after he showed a rough cut to most of his closest friends and colleagues. The former expressed the most positive reaction of all the people who were able to see an early preview of Lucas’ space opera.

Despite finding the film’s storyline a bit confusing, Spielberg thought it was so promising that he thought it would be more profitable than his own science fiction picture, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (see Cineman Blend). The other filmmakers in attendance were sharply opposed to Spielberg’s assertion that the film would be the ““biggest movie of all time” (via CBR).

In addition to being Lucas’ friend for many years, he has been a fan of the acclaimed series from the beginning. Thus, without Spielberg’s valuable feedback and support, both the Mission: Impossible & Star Wars franchises may never have become a global phenomenon!

Mission: Impossible is streaming on Peacock, while Star Wars is available on Disney+

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