One of things that has been most interesting about the "Mission: Impossible" series has been the way they've played with the iconography of the original '60s show. When I worked as a closed-captioner, we got a contract to do "Mission: Impossible," and I must have done twenty episodes of it myself. I remember being struck by just how minimalist it was in terms of production value, and how clearly they relied on certain things over and over.
When the first film was released 20 years, it was interesting to watch fans of the old show freak out at the notion of Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) being revealed as the bad guy. It is exactly what I loved about it, though. Brian DePalma has always loved to tweak genre convention and the language of the thriller, and watching him make this big slick uber-commercial movie that basically cast James Bond as Blofeld, you could almost hear him cackling behind the camera. Tom Cruise was just a little over a decade into his career as an actor, and one of the things people said about him at the time was that he seemed like a movie star in search of his very own franchise. He was evidently hungry for it, and when he and his producing partner Paula Wagner settled on "Mission: Impossible," I wonder if they knew just how limber it would end up being for them.