Mission Improbable: The Impossible Task of Rebooting an Iconic Movie Theme

  • Variety
Composer Lorne Balfe’s task, like any in the 52-year history of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, was simple but not easy: Use Lalo Schifrin’s classic, iconic television theme, but find a fresh approach to effectively score Tom Cruise’s sixth outing as Ethan Hunt in “Fallout.”

It took nine months of writing music, 30 full days of recording at two major London stages, and nearly 300 musicians and choristers to realize Balfe’s sonic vision. And nearly every moment in Balfe’s two-and-a-half-hour score derives in one way or another from either Schifrin’s famous main theme or his secondary theme (“The Plot”) from the original 1960s TV show.

“What a tune to be able to work with,” Balfe says. “One of the most famous in the world. It’s an honor. But how do you modernize it without simply doing dance remixes? The audience knows that melody, and you’ve
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