Tom Cruise performed the sequence where Ethan Hunt scales the outside of the Burj Khalifa tower himself without the use of a stunt double. The Burj Khalifa tower is the tallest building in the world with 2,722 ft or 829.8 meters. Cruise dangled outside the tower at so-so 1,700 feet, or 518 meters.
(at around 1h 25 mins) The actor that hands Ethan the black mask to place over his head to meet the arms dealer appeared in the first Mission: Impossible (1996) movie, giving him the same style mask when he is being taken to meet Max, an arms dealer.
The film made $693 million at the box office worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing installment in the franchise. It also surpassed War of the Worlds (2005) to become Tom Cruise's highest grossing film as of 2012.
During the filming of production, Tom Cruise did the majority of his own stunts including the skyscraper sequence(s) to show the audience it was actually him. This would allow director Brad Bird to have more capabilities with camera angles & not having to hide the fact it is a stuntman doing the stunts.
According to Tom Cruise, he was happy to hear that they were using a subtitle in the film's heading instead of a number like the prior two films did. Cruise has never been a fan of a number at the end of the film's sequel titles as he's always considered each film as a stand alone feature in the Mission: Impossible film franchise.
The high-tech car that 'Ethan Hunt' drives near the end of the film is the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept car. It is an actual prototype of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid that will enter production in late 2013. The concept car is powered by a 1.5 liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine and two electric motors.
Jeremy Renner was offered the role of Jackson Lamb in Super 8 (2011) (eventually taken by Kyle Chandler) but took the role of Brandt when J.J. Abrams told him that Tom Cruise and Brad Bird were interested with him. When accepting the role, Renner was only briefed on the film and character outline as there was no script at that point.
The indoor water fountains in the Indian Palace use special laminar flow nozzles to launch streams of water with no turbulence. Special valves are used to "cut" the water into discrete segments. Similar fountain technology is used in the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas.
(at around 1h 28 mins) In the scene when Ethan is taken to see the Russian arms dealer by the guy Ethan helped break out of the Russian prison, the wooden crates in the background are clearly stamped with the name, "Yu-ri" in letters from the Korean alphabet. Yuri (after Yuri Gorbachev) is the name often used in fictional and real-life spy books and movies to refer to Russian and/or Soviet spies, or the former KGB in general.
When Brad Bird agreed to direct the movie, he asked J.J. Abrams for the screenplay, and Abrams would be reluctant to show it to him, saying that Bird would have a lot of freedom in doing the scenes. After Bird finally asked Abrams for real for the screenplay, the producer admitted that they had several drafts, but nothing definitive at that point, and that Bird should take that opportunity to give as much input as he wanted. According to Bird, the script went through major changes even after the start of production. For instance, during the scene in the van after Ethan's escape from prison, the team was originally unaware of the situation and unsure how to proceed, which Bird blamed on the fact that even he did not have an overview of the plot. This was later re-shot when the direction of the plot became clear. The original scene can be viewed as a deleted scene on the BluRay edition.
(at around 21 mins) Agent Carter releases a red balloon, with a camera attached to its knot, to drop a device within the outer walls of the Kremlin Palace. As the plot deals with Russian nuclear weapons, this is a nudge to the 80's German pop song "99 Luftballons," in which a flurry of red balloons pushes a trigger-happy general to launch several nukes and incite World War III.
Additional shots were filmed with Benji (Simon Pegg) and the Kremlin guard, the latter coming so dangerously close to the rear-projection screen that he nearly discovers the ruse. Producer and star Tom Cruise had insisted on filming these, as he was afraid that they didn't get the maximum amount of suspense from the scene. In the end, director Brad Bird had the shots deleted because it just seemed too improbable that the guard could get so close to the screen without detecting it.
Was originally targeted for a mid-May 2011 release, with J.J. Abrams to direct. However, pre-production delays and script rewrites delayed the film, while at the same time, Abrams was busy working on his Super 8 (2011) film, prompting him to back out from directing, but still remain on producing duties.
In its 425-theater opening weekend, it grossed $13 million, setting the record of the highest-grossing opening weekend in less than 600 theaters (previously held by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)).
The cars visible in the moving-camera shot of valet parking in Mumbai are, in counterclockwise order from bottom left: Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series, Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Ferrari F430, Aston Martin Vantage, Aston Martin DB9, BMW M6, and three white Rolls Royce Phantoms.
(at around 9 mins) The only film in the series where the opening credits involving the lighting of a fuse and the Mission Impossible theme, is actually part of the opening sequence. In all the other movies, from Mission Impossible (1996) to Rogue Nation (2015), the opening credit is used as a cut between two scenes or two different events. Ghost Protocol is the only movie that makes the opening credit part of the action by having one of the characters (Carter) light the fuse.
In Dubai, Tom Cruise is wearing a pair of glasses seen briefly in the train when the team is arming up for the mission. The same glasses are worn while scaling the hotel and are in fact Oakley Split Jackets, modified of course. They have clear frames with a special wind gasket and elastic strap which you can get for the standard models. Unfortunately, the glasses featured in the movie are one of a kind and are not available to the public.
Agent Carter is also the name of Hayley Atwell's character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which she is one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jeremy Renner also plays a S.H.I.E.L.D agent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe known as Clint Barton or by his superhero alias Hawkeye.
The opening scene originally consisted of a younger Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) preparing the speech about nuclear endgames, the one he can later be seen giving to Congress in Ethan's mission report. However, the scene didn't work as intended, and was scrapped in favor of a more action-oriented opening.
(at around 44 mins) When the Russian investigators are reviewing the files of the two prisoners who escaped from prison the same day as the Kremlin bombing, Ethan Hunt's false identity is revealed to be Sergei Ivanov. In real life, Sergei Ivanov is a Russian senior official and statesman.
During the Indian palace scene Ethan's code name is Jupiter. In Roman mythology Jupiter represents the Greek god Zeus, king of the gods. Jane goes by the code name Venus which in roman mythology represents the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
(at around 1h 35 mins) When Benji (Simon Pegg) was addressed by his call sign Pluto, he replies, "Isn't Pluto no longer a planet?". This is factually true. On 13 September 2006, the IAU (International Astronomers Union) declared Pluto a non-planet status as it fails one of the three conditions for a definition of a planet.
Brad Bird: [A113] Ethan uses the call sign "Alpha 113" and "A113" appears on Hanaway's ring. A113 is a frequent in-joke and Easter egg appearing in films produced by Pixar as well as films created by alumni of California Institute of the Arts, based on one of the room numbers for the character animation BFA program. Director Brad Bird is both a Cal Arts alumnus and Pixar movie director, and he has worked an "A113" reference into every one of his feature films, as well as some of his television work.
at around 2h 5 mins) At the end of the film, Ethan receives instructions for his next mission, which involves a terrorist organization called "the Syndicate." This is a nod to the original 1966 Mission: Impossible (1966) television series, where the Syndicate was the Mafia-like crime empire used as an enemy for most of IMF's domestic-based missions. It is also a teaser for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015).
In an interesting nod to the first Mission: Impossible (1996) film, Ethan reveals to Brandt that the Croatia disaster and Julie's death were faked in order to flush out a mole. In the first film, Ethan is involved in the Prague disaster which was a mission with the same objective. And Ethan, like Brandt, wasn't aware of the real mission until people were dead. In both cases, details were revealed later by a superior. In Ethan's case, it was former IMF director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny).
at around 1h 55 mins) The building grazed by the warhead is the Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco's signature skyscraper. The windowless cap at the top is covered by aluminum panels and is only decorative, containing no office space.
Only Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames have been featured in all five Mission: Impossible films, while Simon Pegg and Michelle Monaghan are the only actors (besides Cruise and Rhames) to reprise their roles from the prior third installment Mission: Impossible III (2006). Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner would actually move on to reprise their role in Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
at around 1h 23 mins) Ethan Hunt sets up a meet with a Russian arms dealer over the phone, using a Dunhill lighter as the signal. This may be a clue that the meet isn't everything it first appears to be, as Jim Phelps used a Dunhill lighter in Mission: Impossible (1996). And, in fact, the audience learns after the climax that Hunt intended for the arms dealer to rat him out to the Russians all along, so they would believe the actual plot.
The India night busy downtown chase scene, as well as the near end scene where Ethan (Tom Cruise) and his 'still-alive' wife make eye contact are shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; The former around the downtown convention center, and the latter at 'Granville Market'. The scene in Moscow where Ethan is informed about his mission and his team is also filmed in Vancouver.