- Actor Allusion: Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) at one point is involved in a plot-important dialogue where he corrects someone about minutiae Jazz trivia. Tom Cruise's character in Collateral was involved in a similar (if much more tense) plot-important dialogue, in which he also corrected another character about minutiae Jazz trivia.
- B-Team Sequel: Brad Bird was supposed to return as director, but he was busy with Tomorrowland. Also, Michael Giacchino didn't return to compose this film, due to scheduling conflicts with Jurassic World.
- California Doubling: The opening scene in Minsk was shot at RAF Wittering in the UK.
- Dueling Movies:
- Rogue Nation was originally scheduled for a December 2015 release, but it was pushed forward to the summer to avoid competing with the James Bond film Spectre, which also pits a superspy protagonist (whose agency gets dismantled) against a Nebulous Evil Organization, has scenes set in Morocco and a climax set in London. Rogue Nation generally fared better with critics, but Spectre outgrossed it.
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was also coming out in December, which Rogue Nation was originally going to be released in, but was pushed to July to avoid competing with it. Also, Paramount and Disney came to an agreement for the movie to not promote Star Wars spin-off Rogue One until after Rogue Nation was released, to avoid any further complications in marketing.
- Executive Meddling: The movie was partly financed by Chinese companies, which forced the creative team to shoehorn Zhang Jingchu into a brief role as a CIA interrogator and give her prominent billing in the opening credits, despite the fact that she's on screen for all of 30 seconds, speaks two lines, and is such an nonentity in the film that the role could have been played by anybody.
- Fake Nationality: Rebecca Ferguson is Swedish, playing a British MI6 agent.
- Although it is hinted that she has a Swedish background, for example when she is talking in Swedish to Janik Vinter.
- No Stunt Double:
- Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg performed all their own driving stunts.
- Cruise performed the sequence where Ethan Hunt climbs on the outside of a flying airplane (an Airbus A400M) without the use of visual effects or a stunt double. At times, he was suspended on the aircraft five thousand feet in the air.
- Rebecca Ferguson did almost all of her own fighting sequences, and also the rappel off the Opera House roof (the latter of which she filmed on her first day, and by her own account whilst swearing continuously into Cruise's ear).
- The Other Darrin: Károly Rékasi, the Hungarian voice of Ethan Hunt in the previous, was unable to dub this movie after being injured and hospitalized after a motorcycle accident in late June 2015. Tamás Széles took over his place. He's the main Hungarian voice for Ben Affleck, rather than Tom Cruise.
- Recycled Script: The film borrows elements from the Daniel Craig-era James Bond movies (well, more than usual):
- There's a scene where the hero crashes his vehicle to avoid running over his ally, like in Casino Royale (2006)
- The Syndicate are upgraded from the mafia stand-in of the show to a Nebulous Evil Organization akin to Quantum or SPECTRE.
- Some critics go as far as to compare the film's plot to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Both Rogue Nation and Quantum of Solace feature a sequence at an opera in Austria in the second act. In both sequences, the hero tries to look for the villain, who eventually gets away undetected.
- The theme of whether Hunt is getting too old for this shit and if the organization he works for is "out of date" is reminiscent of Skyfall, from which it also takes a computer savvy ex-agent for a villain who orchestrates an elaborate, convoluted Evil Plan involving a digital MacGuffin, playing the hero like a fiddle for most of the movie, and working against his old boss- the head of MI6. Also, Huntley's arc is very similar to Mallory's in Skyfall, from questioning IMF's necessity to realizing his mistake and at the end becoming IMF's secretary.
- Hilariously, after Spectre came out, it started being accused of ripping off the plot of this film, right down to the nearly identical climaxes. Doubly hilarious when one remembers that the film was originally scheduled for a December 2015 release date, which would have resulted in the film being released after Spectre, but was moved up several months to avoid competing with The Force Awakens.
- What Could Have Been: Reportedly, the release date being pushed up six months forced filming to stop for a week while the ending was drastically rewritten. No word as of yet what this original ending would have entailed.
- Chris McQuarrie told in a podcast that in an early version of the movie, Benji would have been fake killed and Ethan would have been eventually tracked down by Hunley, as well as the rest of the team. Ethan, Luther and Brandt would been driving away in a car alone with Hunley to CIA, leading to the reveal that it was Benji disguised as Hunley, helping them to escape. While the idea was initially liked, it was eventually dismissed because they felt that there would be too many masks gags in the movie then.
- Benedict Cumberbatch was the first actor considered to play a villain.
- Jessica Chastain was the first choice to play the female lead, but declined because she did not like the prospect of spending up to six months training for the role. Rebecca Ferguson was delighted to step in, and has remained with the franchise ever since.
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The film's plot was very difficult to develop. Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie admitted that the film didn't have a script when it went into production. They just had the major action sequences planned out when they started filming. For instance, the underwater heist sequence was outlined from beginning to end, but what Ethan was actually stealing was unknown while they were filming it. Some scenes of important exposition were written while they were being filmed. Drew Pearce was originally hired to pen the script, when the film was announced in August 2013, but was replaced by Will Staples in May of 2014. Staples was then let go when production began that August and Christopher McQuarrie took up writing duties while filming, with the previous scripts seemingly being largely ignored, or thrown out. Production had to be halted in February 2015, so that McQuarrie and Cruise could re-work the film's story and ending. It is unknown how much Pearce and Staples had written for the film, or how much of their content made it into the final film, but Pearce was acknowledged for the story, and McQuarrie is credited as the Screenwriter.
Trivia / Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation