Maggie Q forced to turn down return to 'Mission: Impossible' franchise twice (exclusive)

Rebecca Lewis

Maggie Q says she has been asked to return to the Mission: Impossible franchise twice after appearing in 2006’s Mission: Impossible III. The actress says prior contractual obligations prevented her return as IMF agent Zhen Lei.

The 40-year-old actress is back on the big screen for new Blumhouse thriller Fantasy Island (in cinemas 6 March), and she tells Yahoo that she’s keen to make a return to the Mission: Impossible franchise.

“They wanted me back,” Q tells Yahoo when we asked about her character’s possible return to the series.

“I did [Mission: Impossible III] and they wanted me back for four [2011’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol] but I was on a show, then they wanted me back for five [2015’s Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation], and I couldn’t do it because I was contracted.”

Read more: McQuarrie talks Bond

Although Q doesn’t state which shows she was contracted to that prevented her return, she was starring in The CW’s hitman show Nikita from 2010-2013, and in the CBS crime drama Stalker between 2014-2015.

Maggie Q in a still from Mission: Impossible 3. (Paramount Pictures)

Zhen Lei played a pivotal role in Mission: Impossible III, JJ Abrams’ directorial debut that reinvigorated the franchise, helping Cruise’s Ethan Hunt to acquire the Rabbit’s Foot McGuffin from Philip Seymour Hoffman’ Owen Davian in a thrilling Shanghai set piece.

Paul Patton joined the IMF team as the female lead in the Brad Bird-directed Ghost Protocol, while Rebecca Ferguson was the female lead in Christopher McQuarrie’s Rogue Nation.

Maggie Q in a still from Mission: Impossible 3. (Paramount Pictures)

Q revealed that she’s currently working on a top-secret project that she said was “in the same vein” as Mission Impossible but female-driven, adding: “I think if you’re capable of [doing your movie] you should push for it.”

But yes, she would “drop anything” to work with Tom Cruise again, whom she called the “best co-star ever”

“He’s one of the most professional people I have ever worked with in Hollywood and there is a reason he is at the level he is at,” she said.

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Ving Rhames, Tom Cruise and Maggie Q in a still from Mission: Impossible 3. (Paramount Pictures)

“When I work, I am not looking for new best friends - I don’t need a Christmas card from you! - all I really want is to show up and have people know their job and do it well and that’s what you get from him, so he’s the best co-star ever.”

There are currently two Mission: Impossible sequels in development, with director Christopher McQuarrie planning to shoot both films back-to-back for release in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Read more: How Fantasy Island subverts expectations

Tom Cruise is returning as Ethan Hunt for both films and will be joined in the cast by Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Wigham, Nicholas Hoult, Henry Czerny and Simon Pegg.

In this week’s new release Fantasy Island, Maggie Q plays Gwen Olsen, a businesswoman who visits the island to realise her fantasy of accepting a marriage proposal.

Fantasy Island is released on 6 March. Watch a trailer below.