Whether it's because of the super agents accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks, nifty gadgets or similar espionage storylines, the Mission: Impossible franchise is often compared to its British counterpart, #JamesBond.
But the M:I franchise differentiated itself from the James Bond films in a huge way a few years ago through Ethan Hunt's wife and one true love, Julie Meade.
Julie –– played by #MichelleMonaghan –– first appeared in Mission: Impossible 3, where she married Ethan Hunt. In the fourth installment, Ghost Protocol, we learn they divorced and faked her death to keep her safe from people looking to get revenge on the dashing spy. Because of that twist, Monaghan just had a cameo at the end of the movie.
After that, Meade was nowhere to be seen in #MissionImpossibleRogueNation. Fortunately, she's making a comeback.
Julie Meade Is Coming Back For 'Mission: Impossible 6'
With her return, I thought it was the best opportunity to highlight the question:
How Does Julie Set The Mission: Impossible Franchise Apart From James Bond?
Short answer: By being the reason for Ethan Hunt finally settling down. The James Bond saga is well-known for featuring a different female love interest in every movie. So common in fact, that his love interests are referred to as "Bond Girls," and they're a constant carousel, rarely if ever lasting beyond the scope of a single movie. The James Bond franchise is to love interests what Marvel movies are to villains.
#MissionImpossible started out with that same dynamic with its first two installments, but things changed with M:I3, when Ethan married Julie. That event changed him; he could still be dashing and capable and attractive without being a womanizer. Settling down with someone is something we know Bond won't do for a long time. Bond may have loved, but he certainly still leaves them—or they get fridged to further his story and open the door for a new piece of eye candy to be cast in his next adventure. Not so the happily-committed Ethan. Even now, ten years and two films after they separated, Julie remains Hunt's true love, evident by the tear-inducing final moments of Ghost Protocol.
Now, keep in mind that Monaghan getting cast in M:I6 doesn't mean she'll have a large role in the film, especially since production's been underway for a few months. Taking that into consideration, Monaghan's screen time could end up being similar to her appearance in #MissionImpossibleGhostProtocol, just a cameo. Even so, her enduring and recurring presence in the franchise is an underrated bit of continuity that helps set Mission: Impossible apart from other spy franchises.
What do you think about Michelle Monaghan returning to the Mission: Impossible franchise? Let me know in the comments!