Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust Left The Mission: Impossible Series

As far as fans are concerned, the "Mission: Impossible" franchise committed a major sin when it killed off Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust in "Dead Reckoning – Part One." As the film wraps up its second act, Ilsa goes head-to-head with the mysterious Gabriel (Esai Morales), only to die at his hands. While her death serves a purpose as the emotional crux to propel the film into its finale, audiences were disappointed that the fan-favorite character received such an unceremonious goodbye.

As it turns out, leaving "Mission: Impossible" was Ferguson's decision. On the "UnWrapped" podcast, the star discussed how her three-film contract was over and that while she was offered the opportunity to join the currently untitled "Mission: Impossible 8," she ultimately felt that it wouldn't be the right move for the character's arc. "Ilsa was becoming a team player. And we all can want different things, but for me, Ilsa was rogue," Ferguson said, adding, "There was a lot of characters coming in, not leaving enough space for what she had been."

Ferguson also discussed how lengthy the "Mission: Impossible" productions tend to be, admitting that it might not be worth it to sacrifice so much of her time for fewer scenes. "Unless you're going to have a lot of screen time, that's a lot of time sitting around waiting to film a huge movie that could take over a year to film," the "Dune" actor explained, saying that she's eager to remain active. "I don't want to sit in a trailer and know that there's maybe coming a scene in credits."

Rebecca Ferguson doesn't like the waiting aspect of Mission: Impossible

When "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One" debuted, fans expressed their disappointment that Ilsa Faust's death didn't have much weight and felt rushed, with some speculating that the character's passing was faked in a bid to trick The Entity and Gabriel. It turns out that the "Mission: Impossible" death was planned while "Top Gun: Maverick" was in production, years before cameras rolled on Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) seventh adventure. Though it was clearly a deliberate decision that had thought put into it, Faust's death continues to be a huge question mark for fans.

While some are disappointed that Faust is gone, it seems like Ferguson is happy with her decision to leave "Mission: Impossible" behind for good. During her "UnWrapped" appearance, Ferguson discussed how director Christopher McQuarrie tends to take an improv approach to the films, which leaves the cast with lots of downtime. "You have to literally jump when they say jump, and that's why it's amazing. You're highly trained, highly skilled. It is so intoxicatingly exciting when you're rolling, but there's a lot of waiting," Ferguson said. "And the more characters that are brought in, the more waiting."

"Mission: Impossible 7" features a handful of new characters, like Grace (Hayley Atwell), making screen time for existing franchise players more difficult to come by. But while Ilsa is seemingly gone for good, Ferguson's career is only ramping up. The star recently appeared in "Dune: Part Two" and continues to headline Apple TV+'s "Silo" series, both projects she filmed after production on "Dead Reckoning" concluded.