Like so many significant character developments in any story, finding a balance, for better or worse, is key. This is what Christopher McQuarrie took on board when mapping out Ilsa’s bittersweet farewell. From his perspective, “[the] place you took that character would either make less of her — it would suddenly become frivolous — … or she would just become a romantic interest, and it was never about creating a character who was defined by her love story with Ethan Hunt.”
Looking back at Ethan and Ilsa’s relationship, romance always seemed teased but never totally confirmed with this pair. After all, the final act of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is them saving the world and the life of his former wife, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), with no confirmation that he’d found someone new in Ilsa.
McQuarrie concluded that when it comes to IMF’s top employee and his occasional clandestine colleague, “their relationship transcends a traditional loving story … They’re doomed to be together and yet doomed never to be together … It felt like that story was looking for its resolution, and so we said, ‘This has got to happen.'” Monumental decisions like this didn’t seem to take away from the film for audiences, thankfully — satisfied fans didn’t hold back on Twitter following its release.