Lest anyone think that Brandt has gone the way of Jane, Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), or Declan Gormley (Johnathan Rhys Meyers), McQuarrie has assured viewers that only scheduling conflicts kept Renner from appearing in the sixth Mission: Impossible movie.
“Jeremy had his commitment to Avengers [Infinity War],” McQuarrie told Empire. “And we didn’t know what [Fallout] was, so we couldn’t provide a schedule. We needed absolute freedom.” Of course, Renner ended up not appearing in Infinity War (he did shoot scenes that ended up in the sequel Avengers: Endgame), but McQuarrie did offer the actor one opportunity to appear in Fallout — it would be his last in the franchise.
Fallout begins with an undercover deal to recover stolen plutonium. When the deal goes wrong, Luther is taken hostage, forcing Hunt to choose between saving his friend and completing his mission. In the finished film, Hunt saves Luther, which puts him on a short leash with CIA director Sloane (Angela Bassett). But Renner’s limited schedule gave McQuarrie an opportunity to reimagine the sequence.
McQuarrie recalled telling Renner, “Hey listen, I have this idea for an opening sequence where you sacrifice yourself to save the team, and that the mission-gone-wrong not only involves losing the plutonium but involves the death of a team member.” According to the director, Renner responded, “Thanks, but no thanks,” a decision McQuarrie admires. “He was smart not to take the short paycheck for three days of work and getting blown up,” he says.
As of yet, the long game hasn’t paid off for Renner. He isn’t listed among the leads for the seventh entry Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One, and we don’t know enough about Part Two to hazard a guess about his involvement. But we do know that McQuarrie hasn’t forgotten about Agent Brandt and will happily bring him back — just not as a replacement for Ethan Hunt. That would be one Rennervation too far.