Imagine this, if you will. A Mission: Impossible Cinematic Universe, akin to the worlds being built by Marvel, DC and Star Wars. OK, it’s probably a little far-fetched, but that isn’t stopping current Mission co-star Simon Pegg from making his pitch for a spinoff adventure.
Simon Pegg returns to the Mission: Impossible franchise for his third consecutive film to play Benji Dunn, a desk jockey at the IMF who slowly but surely has become more of a field agent, and a partner to Tom Cruise’s super agent, Ethan Hunt. Now that he has played Benji multiple times, I asked Simon Pegg during the recent press activities for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation if he had an endgame in mind for the character. Where would he like to see him go next? Pegg replied with a laugh:
Well, I mean, in this time of cinematic universes, I think a Benji spinoff is only one decision away, Paramount Pictures. [Laughs] I don’t know. He is kind of in it now. It is interesting to have been playing him for 10 years, going from just a technician sitting in a lab to being a full-on secret agent who kind of is happiest when he’s out there. He’s got that taste for it now. You see him back at a desk in this one for a while and he’s clearly not happy. So I don’t know. I think he’s in it until the end."
If we are being honest, a Mission: Impossible spinoff would be tough to pull off. The reason that audiences continue to return to the series sequel after sequel is to see leading man Tom Cruise, and the next impossible stunt that he’s attempting to pull off. But part of what Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation have done in their stories is they have developed the members of the IMF – from Pegg to Ving Rhames and, most recently, Jeremy Renner – so that they now thrive on the power of teamwork. Breaking Pegg’s Benji out on a lone-wolf adventure would disrupt some of that collaborative fun.
The whole team is back in action this weekend, when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens in theaters on July 31. And if it makes $1 billion globally, and reviews single out Simon Pegg’s heroics (he’s actually fantastic in the film), then we can expect Benji in theaters in 2018.