Empire Magazine has a pretty terrific podcast, as I’ve just discovered. And one thing they’re making a habit of is long-form interviews with writer/director Christopher McQuarrie.
You can listen to him discuss (at length) the making of Mission Impossible: Fallout for nearly 6 hours! Most of it is gold. These were two separate interviews, so I forgive him for repeating one or two stories.
From a screenwriting point of view, it’s interesting to discover how much they back into, based on the globe-trotting action set-pieces. For example, they knew they wanted a helicopter chase. They found a country that would let them do it, then they came up with a plot reason for the characters to be there. So the screenplay was secondary to the locations.
McQuarrie’s approach to the villain was similar. Find out what he wanted him to do, then write the plot and motivations to support the end result. Not always the way screenwriters work.
Here’s Part 1.
Here’s Part 3. (There is no Part 2. Well, there’s a Part 2 episode, but it’s the Empire journalists gabbing, with a preview of the Part 3 interview.)
And if that’s not enough, you can go back in time and listen to McQuarrie talk Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation here.