Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 8 Co-Star Reveals One Request He Had For The Film, And Because Christopher McQuarrie ‘Delivered’, I’m So Pumped

Shea Whigham pointing gun outside near a car with all its doors open in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

In addition to clashing with Esai Morales’ Gabriel and the AI system known as The Entity, 2023’s Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning saw Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt being pursued across the world by Jasper Briggs and Degas, intelligence agents respectively played by Shea Whigham and Greg Tarzan Davis. Among the things we know about Mission: Impossible 8, previously known as Dead Reckoning Part Two, is that both these characters will be back, and for Whigham in particular, it sounds like shooting the upcoming 2025 movie was especially enjoyable. That’s because director/co-writer Christopher McQuarrie “delivered” on a request the actor had for Mission: Impossible 8, and I’m pumped to see it onscreen.

While talking about his new movie Lake Gorge with THR, Shea Whigham spent some time discussing Mission: Impossible 8, which began filming in March 2022 and is still rolling cameras, in part due to the delays caused by the SAG-AFTRA strike. During his time on Dead Reckoning, Whigham asked McQuarrie to craft a specific kind of scene for him to perform in the follow-up, which he described as follows:

I said to Christopher McQuarrie on [Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning]: ‘I don’t want a bigger trailer. I don’t want more money. I don’t want better catering. I just want one scene between Tom and I, where you, McQ, write it like The Usual Suspects, and we get a chance to get in there.’ And he delivered.

We won’t know what exactly this scene between Shea Whigham and Tom Cruise entails until Mission: Impossible 8 comes out, but it was gracious of Christopher McQuarrie to fulfill this request to shoot something in the style of The Usual Suspects. It is, after all, one of the best movies of the 1990s, so I don’t blame Whigham for shooting his shot and trying to get something with that kind of vibe thrown in. This scene was shot towards the end of the actor’s time on the production, but that didn’t mark his last interaction with Cruise.

As Shea Whigham continued below, after he and Cruise shot the scene, they had dinner together, and the latter talked about how he still had a long ways to go until he was finished with Mission: Impossible 8:

We did this scene between Tom and myself, and then Tom said, ‘We’re going to go out to dinner.’ So we went out to dinner when I was done, and then Tom said, ‘Do you realize that we come out one year from today? And it’s going to be a sprint to finish the fucking thing.’ … And I was like, ‘What!?’ Because we’re gone. The rest of the cast is all scattered, and he went, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be a sprint. I go all summer.’ I can’t even explain how he does the stuff that he does. What he’s doing now, people are going to be floored. He wants to make this one like an adventure film, and he and McQuarrie have an idea of what they want to do with it. So it’s going to be amazing.

By the end of Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, it’s unclear if Jasper Briggs’ view on Ethan Hunt has softened or if he still considers him a threat. However, given this new information Shea Whigham has provided, I’m inclined to think it’s the latter since if you’re looking to emulate The Usual Suspects, there needs to be some tension between the two characters. That’s not to say that they won’t be on good terms by the end of the movie, but I’m betting Jasper and Degas will continue to complicate Ethan’s journey to defeat Gabriel and The Entity.

Mission: Impossible 8 opens in theaters on May 23, 2025. All of the released Mission: Impossible movies can be streamed with a Paramount+ subscription. In addition to Dead Reckoning, last year also delivered Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which featured Shea Whigham as the voice of George Stacy and is accessible to Netflix subscription holders.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.