What Mission: Impossible 7’s ‘Dead Reckoning’ Subtitle Means For Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt

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Starting with 2011’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, the Mission: Impossible movies have adopted subtitles rather than straightforward numerical ordering. That said, while the reasoning behind using Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation and Fallout was rather vague, that’s not the case with Dead Reckoning. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has explained why this subtitle, which is being used for the next two Mission: Impossible movies, means something specific for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.

Christopher McQuarrie chatted a bit about Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning in the latest issue of Empire, which also features the first full look at Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones 5. As you’ll read below, “dead reckoning” is a term that spells a peculiar kind of danger for Ethan Hunt and his allies at the IMF:

There are many things emerging from Ethan’s past. ‘Dead reckoning’ is a navigational term. It means you’re picking a course based solely on your last known position and that becomes quite the metaphor not only for Ethan, but several characters.

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