So far, most of the Mission Impossible movies have been less than personal outings for Ethan Hunt. MI:3 came the closest, I think, in terms of emotionally developing the character by giving him a love interest that he has to save from death. The other films are much more similar to a random concatenation of action scenes with a thin plot providing the string. Seems Christoper McQuarrie feels the same way, which is why in an interview with Collider way back in February, he said this:
“I’ve seen five of these movies and I don’t know who Ethan Hunt is. One movie sort of dealt with his personal life; the other movies are about people speculating what’s really going on in Ethan’s head. I want to know who Ethan is in this movie, I want an emotional journey for this character, and Tom really embraced it.”
His approach this time, then, was to say “‘I don’t want to string together a bunch of action scenes, I want to actually deal with character’. So I put Ethan in a bunch of complicated moral quandaries, and I’m trying to find ways to connect them – and then, ironically, the way to connect them was through giant action scenes.”
Good news then, as Michelle Monaghan, per McQuarrie’s Instagram, will return for the sixth film:
In Mission Impossible III, Ethan Hunt and Monaghans’s Dr. Julia Meade were married. In Ghost Protocol, we learned that they had decided to break up because Ethan felt he couldn’t protect her as long as they were together. Now it looks like Julia is back in the picture.Her role in Mission impossible 6 is unknown, as it could be a cameo, a flash back or a small scene, such as at the end of the film.