McQuarrie Explains “Rogue Nation” Opera Scene

With this week’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” there’s no question that the Tom Cruise hanging off a plane scene at the start is the biggest stunt of the film.

There’s also some impressive bike/car chase action, and a fun underwater vault raiding sequence that was supposed to be a single take. Ultimately that scene used so much CG and intercutting with other characters that it felt less impressive than it probably should’ve been.

But perhaps one of the least talked about sequences before the film’s release ended up being the single best set piece and true highlight of the film – the Vienna State Opera House scene. Astonishingly well staged, McQuarrie’s skills as a director really shine through as the geography of the sequence is quite clear despite involving multiple snipers, operatives and action above and around a crowded stage in the midst of performing “Turandot”.

Now The New York Times has posted an ‘Anatomy of a Scene’ video showing some of the scene along with having McQuarrie providing commentary about its staging. You’ll probably be surprised how much was actually done on sets and just how accurate those sets were.