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Now we know why Jeremy Renner wasn't in the last Mission: Impossible movie (and why that might've been a good thing)

Don't make a man travel just to meet his fate, Hollywood

Mission: Impossible
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

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Mission: Impossible fans wondering what happened to agent William Brandt in the last two movies in the franchise (after being placed in the forefront of two earlier installments as a primary member of the team) can breathe a sigh of relief, not only discovering the reason — but also that the character’s lack of appearance in last year’s Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One means that the character avoided a quick death.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Jeremy Renner — who played Brandt in both 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — explained that he had been invited to appear in the 2023 installment of the franchise, but didn’t want to be apart from his daughter for the length of time required… especially considering that he would be appearing in the movie purely so his character could be killed onscreen.

“I remember they tried to bring me over for a week so they could kill my character, and I was like, ‘No, you don’t get to do that. You’re not going to drag me over there and just kill my character!’ Like, ‘get out of here!’” Renner said on the podcast. “If you’re going to do this and you’re going to use my character, you’re going to do it right.”

Renner joked that he “yelled at” Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote and directed the movie, saying, “Dude, you’re not going to do this to me like that, you’re not going to do me wrong.”

While it’s not explained why or how Brandt would have been killed in the movie, it’s worth noting that Dead Reckoning does feature the death of another long-running character in the movie franchise: Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson, who had previously appeared in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018). Faust was killed by one of the Entity’s agents, underscoring how deadly the threat was in this latest storyline; it’s reasonable to assume Brandt might have met a similar fate, had he appeared.

The follow-up to Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One — which may no longer be titled Dead Reckoning Part Two, according to rumors — is currently in production with an intended 2025 release date. Maybe Renner could make a cameo, just to smooth things over... as long as no-one tries to take him out in the process, of course.

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