Mission: Impossible – Why Luther Stickell was barely on the Phantom Protocol

Despite being one of the series’ most recurring characters, Ving Rhames only has one cameo in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

If Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is the undisputed star of the Mission: Impossible film series, then his most forgotten hero would be Luther Stickell, played by Ving Rhames. Since its debut in 1996 Mission Impossible, Luther has played an important role in all of Ethan Hunt’s on-screen MFI adventures and has grown to become Hunt’s most trusted ally and friend.

Although Luther appears in every M: I movie, his appearance in the series’ fourth entry, Phantom Protocol, is extremely minor. To top it off, this cameo comes at the end of the movie after the mission has already been accomplished. Luther’s brevity Phantom Protocol The role had nothing to do with scheduling conflicts or creative differences, but was boiled down to what is often a sticking point for actors performing in large franchises: money.

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Luther Stickell’s role in the franchise dates back to the first film in the series, 1996. Mission Impossible. Established as an unauthorized IMF agent and computer expert, Ethan Hunt hires Luther to help him clear his name after being framed for betraying the IMF. At the end of the film, Luther is reinstated at the IMF and continues to help Ethan Hunt for the remainder of the series. Although he primarily operates as the “man in the truck” during Ethan’s missions, Luther has been known to get in on the action from time to time as well. Luther has also been shown to be one of Ethan’s dearest friends. Hunt allows the Apostles to steal nuclear weapons to save Luther’s life during the events of Fall out, showing how much you care about your colleague.

However, in Ghost Protocol, Luther does not join Ethan and his team in their quest to prevent a nuclear disaster in the wake of the total override of the IMF. Instead, Luther appears during the final minutes of the film, catching up with Ethan sipping beers and discussing his role in cleaning up Ethan’s crew. When Luther leaves, he tells Ethan that he will “see [him] in Kandahar, “referencing they’ll be working together again soon. Surprisingly, Luther’s screen time doesn’t even last a minute, which is odd for one of the franchise’s most recurring cast members.

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It turns out that the reason Rhames was featured only for a cameo rather than a lead role was the result of problems Rhames had with his salary. In a interview with Movieweb, Rhames hinted that due to budget cuts, he would not have a major role in the fourth film in the series: “I may be doing something very small in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol but I’ll just say the budget changed drastically and I’ll leave it at that … Cha-ching could create [a cameo] but it depends on them. ” Rhames had reportedly asked for $ 7.7 million, a steep price even for an A-lister. Although it is not clear if Rhames received the desired salary for his cameo, the conflict appeared to be finally resolved.

Fortunately, Luther Stickell returned the fifth and sixth entries in the Mission: Impossible series. Given Ethan’s IMF team’s rotating roster, it’s reassuring to have key IMF team members like Luther (as well as Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn and Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust) moving from movie to movie.

Rhames will also return for the upcoming seventh and eighth films, continuing his long and storied work on the enduring franchise.

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