20 Surprising Things You May Not Know About The Mission: Impossible Series.

This article is based on "Mission: Impossible Trivia - IMDB", "Mission: Impossible II Trivia - IMDB", "Mission: Impossible III Trivia - IMDB", "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol Trivia - IMDB", and "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Trivia - IMDB". If you're interested in reading more, check out the links at the bottom of the article.

2/20 Roman citizens kept flocking to the set of Mission: Impossible III so the production crew eventually set up a fake set complete with naked girls in bikinis to draw the crowds away from the main set.

3/20 While filming the scene in Mission: Impossible where Tom Cruise drops from the ceiling and hovers inches above the ground, he kept hitting his head on the floor until he thought to put coins in his shoes for balance.

4/20 In Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Jeremy Renner's character Brandt was created as a replacement for Ethan Hawke when Cruise eventually steps away from the franchise.

5/20 Mission: Impossible II producers expressed concern for Cruise's safety when he pitched the idea to free climb in Dead Horse Point State Park for the opening scene. He couldn't picture a better way to introduce the character so performed the sequence without a safety net and tore his shoulder while jumping from one part of the cliff to another.

6/20 Mission: Impossible III special effects technician Steven Scott Wheatley sued Paramount Pictures and Tom Cruise's production company after he suffered third-degree burns over 60% of his body when a pyrotechnic stunt went wrong and engulfed him in flames.

7/20 Jim Phelps is the only character from the original series to appear in the films. Peter Graves, the actor who played him in the series, turned down the opportunity when he found out that his character would be killed which led to other original cast members turning down the opportunity to reprise their roles as well.

8/20 Cruise wanted to perform the stunt where Ethan Hunt climbs on the outside of a flying airplane in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation without an visual effects or stunt doubles. The crew objected thinking that bird strikes or wind resistance on the runway would pose safety issues. In the end Cruise's eye specialist designed a special lens that covered his eyeball to keep out particles and he filmed the scene suspended on the aircraft 5000 feet in the air.

9/20 For the knife scene in Mission: Impossible II Cruise insisted that a real knife be used. It was connected to a cable that was measured to stop exactly one quarter-inch from his eye to achieve the effect.

10/20 To promote Mission: Impossible III Paramount Pictures rigged 4,5000 Los Angeles Times newspaper boxes with digital audio players that would play the Mission: Impossible theme when the door was opened. The players kept falling from the top of the boxes and were mistaken for bombs. Police bomb squads were deployed to a number of the boxes and even temporarily shut down a veteran's hospital in response to the threat.

11/20 Emilio Estevez was cast as Jack Harmon in Mission: Impossible because producers though casting such a popular actor would make his early death even more unpredictable for the audience.

12/20 Cruise performed the sequence in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol where Ethan Hunt scales the outside of the Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest freestanding building in the world, without the use of a stunt double. Although he appears to be free climbing he was safely secured to the tower with multiple cables that were later digitally removed.

13/20 When they started filming Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation the script, minus the major action sequences, hadn't been finalized yet. They filmed the underwater heist scene without knowing what Ethan was actually stealing and other scenes were written as they were being filmed.

14/20 Mission: Impossible TV series director Reza Badiyi was hired by Paramount as a consultant on the first movie. Director Brian de Palma greeted him and complimented him on the series but said that since they were taking so many artistic liberties with the movie his presence would make the crew uncomfortable. Badiyi thanked him for his honesty and never returned to the set.

15/20 In Mission: Impossible III Ethan Hunt jumps from a Shanghai skyscraper on the east side of the Huangpu River to the bank of the river on the west side. In reality this is a 2km distance.

16/20 For Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Cruise trained with diving specialists to be able to hold his breath for three minutes to perform a sequence that required a long take without any edits. However stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood claims that Cruise held his breath for over six minutes in the end.

17/20 Cruise did most of his own stunts in the series to show the audience that it was actually him. It allowed directors to have more freedom with camera angles since they didn't have to hide that it was actually a stuntman.

18/20 In an interview for Shaun of the Dead Simon Pegg was asked whether he was going to pursue a career in Hollywood to which he replied, "It's not like I am going to be in Mission Impossible III". He was cast as Benji, an IMF technician.

19/20 Paramount Pictures owned the rights to the original TV series but hadn't yet adapted it for film when fan Tom Cruise approached the studio with the idea. He wanted it to be the first project for his new production company and asked Paramount to fund the $70 million budget.

20/20 The outdoor scenes for Mission: Impossible III were shot in a small Chinese village with residents serving as extras. A bilingual crew member used a bullhorn to instruct the residents prior to filming each scene.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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