Director Christopher McQuarrie of Mission Impossible 7 considered digitally de-ageing Julia Roberts for the role of Tom Cruise’s girlfriend in the film’s flashback scenes. In an interview, he shared, “If you hire Esai Morales and Tom Cruise and de-age them, and then hire some 23-year-old woman to be their confidant in Berlin in 1989, that’s bulls.” He explained that he wanted to find an actress who would have been prominent during that era and thought of Julia Roberts from her pre-“Pretty Woman” days, specifically around the time of “Mystic Pizza” in 1989.
However, McQuarrie faced financial challenges as the cost of digitally de-ageing the actors, including Roberts, turned out to be extremely expensive, even before considering their salaries. As he stated, “I got the bill for de-ageing those people before their salaries were even factored into it.” He further added, “And if you put two of them in a shot together, or three of them in a shot together, it would have been as expensive as the [massive third-act action scene set on the] train by the time we were done.”
As a result, the idea was deemed unfeasible due to the high expenses, and the role of Cruise’s deceased girlfriend went to Mariela Garriga in Mission Impossible 7.
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