Christopher McQuarrie was sensitive to the fate of Jeremy Renner, saying the actor’s absence from ‘Fallout’ was necessary to ensure he and Tom Cruise had “absolute freedom” to figure out what the film should be. “The unfortunate thing for Jeremy is that he got caught up in this perfect storm of, you can’t be used and we don’t know how, given the huge complications they had with ‘Avengers’ “, added McQuarrie.

At one point, McQuarrie even had an idea on how to kick Brandt out of the franchise. “I had this whole idea that [‘Fallout’] would start with the death of a team member,” he said. He realized it couldn’t be Ethan’s longtime co-workers Luther (Ving Rhames) or Benji (Simon Pegg). “[…] No matter how many films, it will always be the same. You killed the Black. And we didn’t think the movie could recover if you killed Benji,” McQuarrie explained. He was right on both counts.

Instead, he pitched the idea of ​​killing Brandt to Renner. As McQuarrie recalled:

“So I said to Renner, ‘Hey listen, I have this idea for an opening sequence where you sacrifice yourself to save the team, and the mission gone wrong involves not only losing the plutonium but involves the death of a team member.’ And Jeremy was like, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’. […] He was smart not to take the short three-day pay and blow himself up.”

It also left the door open for Brandt to return in the upcoming “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two” after his absence in “Part One.” It may be long, but again, it wouldn’t be the first time a “Mission: Impossible” character has reappeared after disappearing years earlier.

Maybe Renner can kick this football after all.