Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible Co-Star Almost Refused $402M Movie With Marvel Star Zendaya for a Strange Reason

Rebecca Ferguson made her debut in the Mission: Impossible franchise as Ilsa Faust – an intelligence operative of MI6 for The Syndicate, the criminal organization that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF crew are tasked with stopping. She enters Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) as a villain, but in the end, she proves to be an able ally of Hunt.
Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible.Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible.
The Swedish actress’ role is carried forward in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023). Bar any twist in Dead Reckoning’s sequel, she’s unlikely to return in the 8th installment of the franchise, as Faust is stabbed to death by Gabriel in the latest Mission: Impossible movie.

Regardless, she has carved herself a special place in the iconic franchise. But despite all the love, Ilsa Faust might not be Ferguson’s most iconic character, considering her brilliant work as Lady Jessica in Dune (2021). Turns out, she wasn’t sure about taking the opportunity when it first arrived.

Rebecca Ferguson Almost Refused Zendaya Starrer Dune

Dune follows the life of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his search of finding a safe future for his family, forcing him to visit Arrakis – a dangerous planet in the universe in the distant future. Zendaya also features in the movie as the legal concubine of Paul.
Rebecca Ferguson in Dune.

Rebecca Ferguson in Dune.
Another very important character, and perhaps the most complex of all, is Lady Jessica, played by Rebecca Ferguson. She is the mother of Paul. A product of centuries of genetic breeding by the Bene Gesserit (a group that trains their members’ minds and bodies to obtain superhuman capabilities), her character goes through several changes.

However, when Denis Villeneuve, the director, first pitched the role, Ferguson wasn’t sure about portraying it. She said in in 2021:

“When he explained the character, I thought, really? You want me to be regal and poised and ask me to do a role that I have played so many times before? I would literally be a teapot for you, but I don’t think that’s the role for me, dude.”
Villeneuve’s further explanation of the importance of Lady Jessica – who he described as “the strongest woman in the world” – in Dune was enough for Ferguson to give the nod.

How Rebecca Ferguson Starrer Dune Performed at Box Office

Villeneuve’s vision, based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, worked wonders and not only impressed critics but also earned $402 million at the box office. Dune 2 is scheduled to release later this year, and Ferguson will reprise her role of Lady Jessica and be joined by a new entry into the movie, Florence Pugh. The latter will play Princess Irulan.
Mission: Impossible star Rebecca Ferguson.Mission: Impossible star Rebecca Ferguson.

Early this month the Mission Impossible star talked about the sequel and couldn’t contain her excitement, stating Dune, despite its brilliance, is nothing compared to its next installment. The 39-year-old told Collider in an interview.
“But dude, number one is phenomenal and big and grandiose, and then you go close-ups and the imagery and the acting. Yeah, it’s all great. It’s f***ing nothing compared to number two. Number two, it’s like a f***ing gut punch. It’s unreal.”

For now, though, she’s busy consoling the fans of now-dead Ilsa Faust in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Let’s hope there’s some twist in the Dead Reckoning Part Two and we get to see a glimpse of Ethan Hunt’s cherished ally.

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