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WMG / Mission: Impossible Fallout

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    Pre-release theories 

Solomon Lane escapes while in Ethan's custody
In a similar vein to the bridge scene in Mission: Impossible III, Lane will escape from IMF custody while being transported, and will set off the chain of events of the film.
  • Alternatively, what if a third party kidnaps him for what he knows?

Henry Cavill's character is a traitor
It's been two films since we had an IMF mole. Cavill's character will seem to flip back and forth between villain and ally, but eventually be revealed to be a traitor.
  • The trailer has August Walker standing behind the new CIA director, implying that he is a CIA agent. Perhaps he may have been undercover in IMF initially?
    • Or what if Walker is in fact the terrorist-extremist nicknamed John Lark, and his suspicions over Hunt is just him wanting to pull a Karma Houdini, while he is cooperating with Lane?
    • Confirmed

Henry Cavill's character will end up with the IMF.
In the bathroom fight scene in the trailer, Hunt and Walker appear to be fighting together against a third individual, and Walker is associated with the new CIA director and not some other unknown party. He might start off on a CIA objective, not knowing that the IMF have given Ethan and his crew a mission (say, involving helicopters?) that pits Hunt and Walker against each other. Once they realise that they're on the same side, they'll team up.
  • On the other hand, that's roughly what happened to Hunley last movie...
Julia's working for an international public health organization
Photos on the director's Instagram show Julia in a white vest with a logo very similar to that of the World Health Organization, except with the letters HAO (Human Aid Organisation? Health Aid Organisation?)
  • Jossed

Tom Cruise will actually have to exercise his acting chops at some point.
We know the dude's an adrenaline junkie and a fantastic stunt man, but hopefully the movie's darker and apparently more personal subject matter will mean we see Ethan Hunt in emotional turmoil and moral quandaries that show off Tom Cruise's acting range, like in Mission: Impossible III.

Henry Cavill's character is Jim Phelps's son
Since director Christopher McQuarrie has stated that this film will deal with "Ethan's past come back to haunt him" — what better part of his past than his mentor, who became a traitor?

Chimera, and The Rabbit's Foot come back into play
Along with the same themes of Ethan's past coming back to haunt him, the MacGuffins from previous films return. The Chimera virus and the Rabbit's Foot make more sense than say, the NOC List, the nuclear codes, or the Red Box, and we might finally learn what the Rabbit's Foot is.

Jim Phelps is still alive.
Phelps is actually the man handcuffed to the hospital bed in the trailer. Whether this is the same Jim Phelps played by Jon Voight, or a retcon to reveal that Voight was never the real Phelps (and thus pleasing Mission: Impossible tv show fans) is up for grabs.
  • Jossed

Ethan will refuse to accept a mission.
Following on from Solomon Lane's musings over whether Hunt has ever said anything but yes to a mission, as the movie comes to a close, after copping a metric ton of bullshit and being put through the wringer, Ethan will refuse a mission, leaving the end open. (For someone else to take up the M:I mantle?)

One (or more) of the 'good guys' are going to end up dead (or pretty close to it).
Luther has to stop a very angry Ethan from beating up an unidentified individual in their hospital bed. Only reason Ethan ever gets that pissed is when someone he loves is in danger. (Possibly Julia or Benji?)
  • Confirmed: Hunley is stabbed by John Lark when the latter is escaping an IMF safe house.

The 'one life over millions' mentioned in the trailer is Luther.
Luther got himself caught (see that big guy with a gun to his head in the trailer, when Hunt has his back against a brick wall?) and Hunt had to blow his own cover to save his life, costing him a chance to take back the plutonium.
  • Alternatively, I'd like to believe the people behind this movie are smarter than that, and have put this in the trailer as a red herring.
  • Confirmed: Ethan saving Luther is what causes them to lose the plutonium, kicking off the plot of the film.

The subtitle is more meaningful than it initially appears.
Fallout will not only refer to nuclear fallout, it will also describe the consequences of Hunt's prior actions, as well as 'falling out' between those he thought he could rely on. (It could also refer to the amount of falling off stuff Hunt seems to be doing in this movie!)

Julia will die in the film.
In the latest trailer, as her and Ethan are seemingly at a wedding ceremony, a bright light appears behind her, prompting Ethan to hug her close. That light may be a bomb.
  • On the other hand, if that is a bomb (and if it is a bomb, it could very well be one of the plutonium ones that were lost in Berlin), and it's close enough to Julia to kill her, then Ethan should be done for himself, or at least seriously injured. It could be that the scene is part of a dream sequence, imagine spot (like in Rogue Nation when Benji imagines being caught in Morocco), or a PTSD hallucination.
  • Jossed

The ceremony seen in the second trailer takes place at Lake Wanaka.
Because it would be such a fantastic callback to Mission: Impossible III. New Zealand's pretty mountainy too, just like the shot in the trailer, so it's definitely possible.

Solomon Lane's breakout has been orchestrated by Hunt and friends.
They're trying to get to him before some third party does. Would also accept Team Hunt attempting to break him out, but then he gets snatched by said third party.
  • Confirmed: They trying to break him out as part of a plot to catch John Lark.

    Post-release theories 

Deleted scenes.
  • August Walker's moustache climbing up to kill Ethan Hunt in the finale.
    • But that was the post-credits scene, didn't you wait for it?
  • A Jeremy Renner cameo.
  • A Hunt/Ilsa kiss.

This was originally planned as the Series Finale for Mission Impossible
People often say that the mission impossible stories are so accessible because you can watch any one of them, and it won't matter because the story isn't what's important. And yet, for this movie, we have a host of Continuity Nod as well as it being a clear and direct sequel to Rogue Nation. Ethan and his former wife have some closure, we get to see Solomon Lane show his meddle again, callbacks to the first MI with the room scenario, and an ending narration describing why the IMF will always be important. Not to mention this is the first villain who has made it personal to destroy Ethan as well as accomplish bigger goals. Overall, all the components to say to longtime viewers of the series, "Thanks for watching.

    Sequel theories 

Solomon Lane
-will return.

Lane was handed over alive to MI6, seething with despair and frustration at not having his revenge on Hunt, and heading back into the same situation he was in before he was broken out. Not only that, but all the Apostles bar Decoy!Lark (RIP) are still around and presumably still wanting to free Lane and destroy the world order. Lane is a good foil for Hunt in that he was once an agent like him, but became jaded, leading him to blame the system for the terrible things he did for his organisation, instead of himself.

In Fallout, he becomes suicidal and only wants to see Hunt suffer, after being pumped (read: tortured) for information by numerous governments. In his brief time free, he now knows firsthand that Ilsa and Ethan at the very least care for each other, and Ilsa and Benji defeated him and took him back into custody, further directly benefitting Ilsa, who gets to be welcomed back into the MI6 fold. Dude is now probably plotting to ruin not only Hunt's shit, but Ilsa's and Benji's too. Hunt is now free to go back to having nightmares about Lane, now starring Ilsa as well as Julianote .

Furthermore, just as Ethan realises he's free to possibly pursue a relationship with Ilsa, she returns to being a sanctioned member of MI6, not IMF. Not only this; she seems to be growing the same weakness Ethan has, the inability to see the bigger picture and put the needs of the many over the few. (Time will tell, though, as to whether this only extends to Hunt and friends — she made it through two years deep undercover with the Syndicate, doing god only knows what to gain his trust; this points to her being able to make the hard choice.) Either one day, a mission of hers will put her at loggerheads with Ethan and/or his morality, or (more likely) a malicious third party will exploit the connection between the two agents to further their own objectives.

This is to say nothing of the White Widow still being around, continuing to supply baddies with bad things, who has a strange thing for Hunt, disapproves of Ilsa, and may or may not know that he was responsible for catching her mum in the NOC list sting.

The White Widow will return as a villain