After intercepting nerve gas being sold to Chechen terrorists in Minsk, IMF agent Ethan Hunt is convinced he can prove the existence of the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium that the CIA does not believe exists. Hunt is captured by the Syndicate, but escapes a torture chamber led by Syndicate member Janik "Bone Doctor" Vinter with the help of disavowed MI6 agent and Syndicate operative Ilsa Faust.
CIA Director Alan Hunley and IMF Field Operations Director William Brandt testify before a Senate committee. The IMF, currently without a secretary in charge, is controversial because of its destructive methods and various misconducts. Hunley succeeds in having the IMF disbanded and absorbed into the CIA. Brandt, knowing that Hunley will try to capture Hunt, warns him to stay undercover. Cut off from the IMF, Hunt follows his only lead: a blonde man in glasses, later identified as former MI6 agent Solomon Lane.
Six months later, Hunt remains a fugitive. He enlists former colleague Benji Dunn to attend an opera in Vienna. He predicts that an attempt will be made on the Austrian Chancellor at the performance, and believes that Lane will also be there. He and Dunn stop three snipers including Faust, but the Chancellor is killed by a car bomb, and Lane is still not found. Faust drops hints of Lane's plan to Hunt before leaving. Dunn decides to stay with Hunt instead of reporting back to the CIA, despite knowing his action amounts to treason.
Hunt, blamed for the Chancellor's death, is pursued by the CIA's Special Activities Division. Brandt contacts Luther Stickell to find Hunt before the CIA does. Stickell tracks Hunt, Dunn, and Faust to Casablanca. Here, they acquire a list of Syndicate agents, contained in a secure building. Faust flees with the data, evading both Hunt and Syndicate members, although Hunt kills the pursuing Syndicate members. Dunn reveals he copied the data onto a USB drive, as Stickell and Brandt catch up to them.
Faust returns to London and attempts to use the file to quit her mission to infiltrate the Syndicate, but her MI6 handler, Atlee, compels her to continue, whilst discreetly wiping the drive. Meanwhile, Ethan learns that the data is actually an encrypted British-government red box that requires the Prime Minister's biometrics to unlock it. Lane's men abduct Dunn, and use Dunn and Faust to blackmail Hunt into decrypting the data and delivering it to them. Hunt agrees to the ultimatum, despite protests from Brandt.
As part of Hunt's plan, Brandt reveals their location to Hunley. At a London charity auction, Hunley, Brandt, and Atlee take the PM to a secure room to protect him from Hunt. Brandt has the PM confirm the existence of the Syndicate, a proposed project to perform missions without oversight, making the PM an executioner with zero accountability, before Atlee reveals himself as a disguised Hunt. When the real Atlee arrives, Hunt forces him to admit that he began the Syndicate without permission, and that he has been covering up its existence after Lane hijacked the project and went rogue, turning the Syndicate against him and MI6.
With the PM's biometrics, Stickell discovers the file contains access to 2.4 billion British pounds in various bank accounts, which would allow the Syndicate to continue their operations unnoticed. Hunt destroys the data. At the meeting, outside the Tower of London, he tells Lane he memorized the data, and offers himself in exchange for Dunn and Faust. Dunn escapes after a bomb on him is disarmed, while Ethan and Faust are chased through the streets of London by Lane's men. Faust kills Vinter in a knife fight, while Ethan confronts Lane and lures him into a sealed, bulletproof glass cell where he is gassed unconscious and taken into custody.
Hunley, having witnessed an IMF operation's success firsthand, returns with Brandt to the Senate committee meeting and convinces them to restore the IMF by covering for Hunt and his team. After the meeting, Brandt congratulates Hunley, who is now the new IMF Secretary.Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, an IMF agent
Simon Pegg as Benjamín "Benji" Dunn, an IMF technical field agent
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, an IMF Field Operations Director
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, an MI6 agent undercover in the Syndicate
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, an IMF agent
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane, a former MI6 agent who went rogue to lead The Syndicate
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Jens Hultén as Janik "Bone Doctor" Vinter, Lane's personal henchman and a former KGB operative who went rogue to assist the Syndicate
Simon McBurney as Atlee, head of the Secret Intelligence Service
Zhang Jingchu as Lauren, a CIA analyst
Tom Hollander as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Hermione Corfield as an IMF agent who doubles as a record-shop keeper in London
Paramount Pictures announced in August 2013 that Christopher McQuarrie would direct the fifth Mission: Impossible film, from a script by Drew Pearce, with Tom Cruise reprising his role as Ethan Hunt. Tom Cruise Productions and Bad Robot would produce, and Skydance Productions, who served as co-financers and executive producers of the latest installment, will work closely with the team in the development and production process." On November 14, 2013, Paramount announced a release date of December 25, 2015. The same month, Simon Pegg confirmed he would reprise his role as Benji. In May 2014, Will Staples replaced Pearce as screenwriter. Also that month, Jeremy Renner confirmed he was returning in the role of William Brandt, and Cruise said the film would shoot in London, with a later report saying it would first shoot in Vienna in August. At some point, McQuarrie replaced Staples as screenwriter; the final credits list McQuarrie as screenwriter, with story by Pearce.
In July 2014, Rebecca Ferguson was cast and Alec Baldwin was in talks for the film. Baldwin was confirmed to have joined the cast in August 2014, and Ving Rhames was confirmed to be reprising his role of Luther Stickell. On September 5, it was announced that Sean Harris was in negotiations for the villain role. On October 2, Simon McBurney joined the cast of the film. On October 6, Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu joined the film's cast (she only appears for 30 seconds in the finished film). On March 22, 2015, Paramount revealed the film's official title, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, along with a teaser poster and trailer.
Principal photography began in August 2014. On August 21, the production released its first photos from the set in Vienna, Austria. On August 22, actors Cruise and Pegg, along with director Christopher McQuarrie, were spotted at Vienna's Metro. Later on in the day, Cruise and Ferguson were also spotted, during the filming of some stunt (jumping) scenes from the roof-top of Vienna State Opera. On August 26, actors were again spotted filming scenes in Vienna. After finishing one and a half weeks of filming in Austria, on August 30, Cruise arrived in Rabat, Morocco for filming more scenes. Here the Marrakesh Highway was closed for 14 days (August 30-September 12). Other filming locations in Morocco include Agadir and Rabat. On September 2, Cruise was spotted racing a 2015 BMW M3 Sedan in Derb sultane, Casablanca, which were shod with BMW-homolagated Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. On September 8 and 9, filming took place in The Marrakesh Stadium, which was closed both days for filming purposes. On September 26, Cruise was filming scenes and doing his own stunts in a BMW car in Kasbah of the Udayas, in the capital city Rabat.
After more than a month of shooting in Austria and Morocco, filming moved to London on September 28. On October 7, a trailer was seen carrying damaged BMW M3s (along with a disguised BMW 3 Series) from the set after filming in Morocco. On October 10, Cruise and his stuntman Wade Eastwood were spotted filming some scenes in Monaco; lead actress Ferguson was also spotted. Filming of an action scene featuring Ethan Hunt climbing and hanging on the outside of a flying Atlas C1 took place at RAF Wittering near Stamford. Tom Cruise performed the sequence, at times suspended on the aircraft over 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in the air, without the use of a stunt double. To pull off this particular stunt, the production team were given a limited period of only 48 hours. The plane took off and landed 8 times before they had the perfect shot. On November 9, filming began on Southampton Water, while the crews were spotted arriving at Fawley Power Station before filming started. On December 2, 2014, Cruise was almost hit by a double-decker bus while filming a scene in London. However, the bus missed him and he suffered no injuries. Tom Cruise trained under diving specialist Kirk Krack to be able to hold his breath for three minutes to perform an underwater sequence which was filmed in a single long take without any edits (though the scene in the movie was cut with several breaks, giving the impression for the scene having several takes). However, stunt coordinator Wade Wilson claims that Cruise held his breath for just over six minutes.
On February 20, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter said filming was halted to give McQuarrie, Cruise, and an unknown third person time to rework the film's ending. Filming ended on March 12, 2015.
The musical score for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was composed by Joe Kraemer, who previously collaborated with director McQuarrie on The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher. Kraemer was announced as the composer for the film in September 2014. The soundtrack was recorded with small orchestral sections at British Grove Studios and with full orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
As well as incorporating Lalo Schifrin's thematic material from the television series throughout the score, three tracks ("Escape to Danger," "A Matter of Going", and "Finale and Curtain Call") interpolate Puccini's Nessun dorma aria.
The physical soundtrack became available from La-La Land Records on July 28, 2015, with the digital album released from Paramount Music on the same day.
All music composed by Joe Kraemer.
Paramount had originally scheduled the film for a December 25, 2015 release. On January 26, 2015, Paramount advanced the release date to July 31, 2015. The main reason cited by The Hollywood Reporter was to avoid competition with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and the James Bond film Spectre. In the United States and Canada, it was released in the Dolby Vision format in Dolby Cinema, the first ever time for Paramount. On February 13, 2015, Paramount and IMAX Corporation announced that they would digitally remaster the film into the IMAX format and release it in IMAX theaters worldwide on the scheduled date. The film was completed at 2:00AM on July 18, 2015, less than two weeks before its release date. The film was officially released in North America on July 31, 2015. Lotte released the film in South Korea on July 30, 2015. The film was released in China on September 8, 2015.
In August 2015, Fox Networks acquired the US cable broadcast rights, for broadcast after its theatrical release. The film will be available for FX Networks and its suite of networks: FX, FXX, FXM and the video-on-demand platform FXNow.
A teaser trailer for the film was released on March 22, 2015. The following day, a full-length trailer was released. A second full-length trailer was released on June 3, 2015.
Paramount Pictures spent $42 million on advertising for the film.
A comic book was released in conjunction with the movie’s DVD/Blu-ray release. It follows Hunt going rogue during the events of the film. The comic is written by the film's writer and director Christopher McQuarrie and illustrations by Lazarus artist Owen Freeman.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation grossed $195 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $487.3 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $682.33 million. Although, Rogue Nation was projected to become the highest-grossing Mission: Impossible film and the biggest movie for Cruise, it apparently fell short of eclipsing Ghost Protocol's final gross to become the second highest-grossing Mission: Impossible film and the second biggest film for Cruise. It had a worldwide opening of $121 million and an IMAX worldwide opening total of $12.5 million (the third biggest of July behind The Dark Knight Rises and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2). Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $108.90 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film.
In the United States and Canada, according to pre-release tracking, the film was projected to earn around $40–50 million in its opening weekend, less than what the first three Mission: Impossible films earned in their initial weekend. It made $4 million from its Thursday night showings which began at 8 p.m. from 2,764 theaters, and $20.3 million on its opening day, which is the second biggest opening day for Cruise (behind War of the Worlds) and the biggest in the Mission: Impossible franchise (breaking Mission: Impossible II's record), with 16% of ticket sales from the film's 367 IMAX theaters. In its opening weekend the film grossed $55.5 million exceeding expectations and is the second highest opening in the franchise, behind Mission: Impossible II ($57.8 million) and the third biggest for Cruise behind War of the Worlds ($64.8 million) and Mission: Impossible II. IMAX contributed $8.4 million of the total opening gross from 369 IMAX screens which is the third best for a July opening after Dark Knight Rises ($19 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($15.2 million). Premium large format grossed up $2.6 million, 13% of Friday’s gross with Cinemark XD grossing close to $700,000 at 108 screens. It remained at the top spot for the second weekend earning an estimated $28.5 million (down 48.7%) from 3,988 theaters (32+ theaters) buoyed by strong word of mouth, rapturous reviews and strong plays at IMAX theaters. Revenues from IMAX also dropped steadily by 39% to $4.3 million in its second weekend. It topped the North American box office for two consecutive weekends until surpassed by the music biographical drama Straight Outta Compton in its third weekend. It ended its theatrical run on October 29, 2015, playing in theaters for a total of 91 days or 13 weeks, earning a total of $195 million at the North American box office which is just 28.6% of its total worldwide gross. It is the third highest-grossing Mission: Impossible film behind Mission: Impossible II ($215 million) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($209 million).
Elsewhere, the film opened in 40 overseas markets including 135 IMAX theaters on July 31, 2015 in big markets such the United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia. It grossed $64.5 million in its opening weekend and went No. 1 in 33 markets and IMAX contributed $4.1 million of its international opening. Revenues from its second weekend increased by 0.5% to $65 million. It added 18 new markets including India, Japan, Russia and opened at No. 1 in 17 of the 18 markets with the exception of Japan where it was behind Jurassic World. Overall, it opened at No. 1 in 55 of the 63 territories it has been released in and had the biggest opening weekend ever for the franchise in 46 markets and Cruise's best opening in 40 markets. It topped the box office outside of North America for three consecutive weekends before being overtaken by Paramount's own Terminator Genisys in its fourth weekend and four in total.
It had the biggest opening for the franchise in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($8.3 million), France ($7 million), India ($6.5 million), Japan ($6.1 million), Russia and the CIS ($5.3 million), Mexico ($5 million), the Middle East ($4.7; including $2.5 million from UAE alone), Taiwan ($5.1 million), Australia ($3.8 million), Germany ($3.2 million) and Brazil ($3.1 million). In South Korea, where the franchise has been a hit it opened to $16.95 million (49% above Ghost Protocol), which is the second biggest-opening ever for Paramount, behind Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Cruise's biggest ever opening; the best for the Mission: Impossible franchise; and the second biggest opening for a Western film of 2015. It added $8.1 and $3.7 million in its second and third weekend for a total of $41.1 million making South Korea the film's second highest market followed by Japan ($41.2 million), the United Kingdom ($32 million), France ($20.9 million) and Germany ($13 million). In Japan, it faced competition with the continued run of Jurassic World. In China, Rogue Nation emerged very successful and earned $18.5 million on its opening day of September 8 (including $1.4 million from midnight screenings), which is the country's biggest opening for a Hollywood 2D film, the second biggest for any 2D film in China (only behind the $22.2 million debut of local 2D film Pancake Man), and the fifth-biggest opening for any film. Despite opening on a Tuesday—during which most children are off to school—the film opened successfully and almost matched the opening figure of North America. Rob Cain of Forbes cited out possible reasons for the successful opening; the well-establishment of the franchise in China (its immediate predecessor Ghost Protocol earned $102.7 million), rapid expansion and growth of Chinese movie market, being the second Hollywood movie (after Terminator Genisys) to be released after the nearly 60 days blackout period in which non-Chinese movies were dabarred from going to general release in the country, and the successful awareness campaign and marketing efforts by the team including Tom Cruise visiting several Chinese cities. It went on to earn an estimated $85.8 million through its opening weekend (Tuesday-Sunday) from 5,500 screens. It is the highest-grossing 2D Hollywood film there with $136.8 million (breaking Interstellar's record). Rogue Nation was projected to make roughly 70% of its worldwide gross abroad, and indeed ended up making $487,287,762 or 71.4% of its entire worldwide gross overseas which is the highest among the series.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has a rating of 93% based on 277 reviews and an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence — and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal." Metacritic gives the film a score of 75 out of 100 based on 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Ty Burr of The Boston Globe called the film "preposterously enjoyable" and said that it "unfolds with fluid, twisty, old-school pleasure," highlighting the performances of Cruise, Pegg, Ferguson and Baldwin and comparing the action scenes to those of the James Bond films as well as Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). He ultimately gave the film 3 out of 4 stars. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Rogue Nation 3.5 out of 4 stars, highly praising the film's cast and stating that the film "keeps topping itself". However, he criticized the villain for not being too memorable or intimidating. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said that McQuarrie's direction allowed Rogue Nation to stand out among the other films in terms of action and its inclusion of female characters, singling out Ferguson's Ilsa as uniquely empowered and action-oriented, also praising her scenes with Cruise. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic praised Cruise, saying "You overcome the impossible through the application of sheer, unvarnished willpower, a quality that Cruise has always possessed in abundance" and describing him as the driving force of the film and the franchise. He too praised Ferguson among the supporting cast for her role as an action heroine. Joseph Wigler of MTV.com considered the movie as "one of the most entertaining Ethan Hunt adventures" which proves that "the franchise still has plenty of fight left in it, with no signs of slowing down." He praised the performances of Cruise and Ferguson, applauding the latter for playing "the most fascinating character in the entire movie" and "one of the most complicated and alluring characters in the entire five film series." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times stated "Sleek and bloated, specific and generic, 'Rogue Nation' is pretty much like most of the 'Impossible' movies in that it’s an immense machine that Mr. McQuarrie, after tinkering and oiling, has cranked up again and set humming with twists and turns, global trotting and gadgets, a crack supporting cast and a hard-working star."
A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club remarked, "Rather than go full auteur on his formulaic material, McQuarrie instead offers a kind of greatest-hits package: 'Rogue Nation' marries the shifting loyalties of Brian De Palma’s original to the kinetic action beats of John Woo’s series nadir and the all-set-piece structure of Brad Bird’s series zenith, adding an omnipotent villain not far removed from the one Philip Seymour Hoffman played in J.J. Abrams’ entry. It’s the least visually or conceptually distinctive of the five movies, leaning on what’s worked before rather than forging its own path." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, calling it "breathlessly thrilling" and giving high praise to its action sequences, saying " all you can do is pick your jaw off your lap and grin at the breathtakingly bananas spectacle you’ve just witnessed." Meanwhile, David Edelstein of Vulture.com called Ferguson the "best reason" to see the film. However, he felt it did not surpass its predecessor and singled out several elements of some of the action sequences for criticism. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal also praised Ferguson but felt that she and Cruise had "zero chemistry" onscreen. Nonetheless he praised the film for working "ingenious changes on old tropes". Daniel Krupa of IGN only gave the film a score of 7/10, praising the action sequences and the performances of the central cast but criticizing it for not adding enough to the series or expanding on the plot of Ghost Protocol.
By May 2015, Paramount was developing a sixth Mission: Impossible film, with Cruise, Abrams, Ellison, and Goldberg returning to produce, along with Don Granger and Matt Grimm executive producing, and Elizabeth Raposo overseeing development. Shortly before the release of Rogue Nation, Cruise announced he would return for a sixth film, asserting that it could begin production in 2016. Following Cruise's statement, Paramount also confirmed that a sixth film was in development. By December 2015, McQuarrie announced that he will be returning to direct the sixth film and Ferguson will be reprising her role as Ilsa Faust as well. In April 2016, Cruise confirmed filming would commence in fall of that year. By August, pre-production on the film was halted due a salary dispute between Cruise and Paramount. The film was also set for a late 2017 release, but was removed from that date. A month later, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Tom Cruise has officially closed his deal with Paramount Pictures to return as Hunt with production pushed from January to Spring 2017 for a July 27, 2018 release date.