After being teased a few weeks back, the full Empire podcast interview with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie has now been released in which the “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” director goes into full detail regarding the mess that was ‘moustache-gate’.
Actor Henry Cavill’s facial fuzz, which he grew for ‘Fallout,’ was made famous when his contractual commitments to that film meant he couldn’t shave off the moustache during “Justice League” reshoots. As a result, CG was used to erase the hair for several key scenes in the DC Comics team-up movie. Unfortunately, the results were not good, at times leaving the actor with a very weird looking mouth.
McQuarrie now finally sets the record straight on why Paramount wouldn’t allow Cavill to shave his moustache, despite much of the ‘Fallout’ crew being willing to do whatever they could to help “Justice League” and Warners:
“When the question came – the reshoots for Justice League came out – [Charles] Roven called me, and he said, ‘We need your help and we need to shave Henry [Cavill]’s mustache. We need him to come back and we need to do these reshoots.’ And I said, ‘Look, Chuck, naturally I want to do everything I can to help you, but I also have to think about our production. Let me talk to everybody and figure out what the scheduling would be.’
And I went and spoke to Jake Myers [‘Fallout’ producer], and the suggestion was made through channels that we shave the mustache and Henry could begin to grow the mustache back and that then there would be – they would give us the resources to digitally fill in Henry’s mustache. Because like it or not, a fake mustache in close-up on a 75mm lens is never going to look like anything but a fake mustache.
So, we offered the following compromise: Jake Myers calculated the amount of money that it would take to replace the number of shots, and essentially what Jake was able to project was about a $3 million visual effects budget.
So, I don’t know how much Henry was in Justice League, I’ve never seen the movie, but I can tell you how much it would’ve cost for ‘Mission: Impossible’ to digitally add Henry Cavill’s mustache, and we said yes. We said, here’s what we’ll do: give us the $3 million and we’ll shut down, and that will give Henry Cavill the time to grow his mustache back, and we’ll just shut our movie down.
We said we’ll do this, at which point, somebody from Paramount Pictures said, ‘What is going on? What are you people even talking about?’ They’re like, ‘There’s no way we’re going to do that.’ We were just like, ‘Okay.’ That was the best plan that we could come up with.”
Ultimately ‘Fallout’ came out the victor here, the film scoring some of the year’s best critical reviews and looks to be on its way to outperform “Justice League” at the box-office. Additionally McQuarrie also discussed why Jeremy Renner’s William Brandt was absent from the film, saying it entirely came down to scheduling commitments:
“Jeremy had his commitment to Avengers, which ironically they ended up not exercising, and we didn’t know what the [sixth Mission] movie was, so we couldn’t provide a schedule. We needed absolute freedom. The unfortunate thing for Jeremy is that he got caught in this perfect storm of, one can’t use you and one doesn’t know how to, given the massive complications they had with Avengers.
I had this whole idea that the movie would start with the death of a team member. So I said to Jeremy, look we can’t kill Ving, it’s never going to work. No matter how many movies into it, it’s always going to be the same thing. You killed the black guy. And we didn’t think the movie could recover if you killed Benji.
So I said to Renner, ‘Hey listen, I have this idea for an opening sequence where you sacrifice yourself to save the team, and that the mission-gone-wrong not only involves losing the plutonium, but involves the death of a team member.’ And Jeremy was like, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’… He was smart not to take the short paycheck for three days of work and getting blown up.”
Ultimately no team member is killed in the incident which kicks off the film, but were it done it would’ve made the film a darker affair but otherwise wouldn’t have had a major impact. The full interview can be heard at SoundCloud.