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Comment: With the recent release of Mission Impossible 3, it brought to
mind a question about the first MI movie. I thought at one point, that
when the first movie was being made, that Peter Graves was offered the
part of Jim Phelps that he had made famous, he refused because they had
made Phelps a bad guy. Is this true?

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I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod

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It wouldn't suprise me. I have a friend who was a fan of the original series who refuses to watch that movie for precisely that reason.

What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK" and other lingo mean?

And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

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Greg of Winter
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I doubt he would have been given such a large part, but they usually at least offer the original cast a cameo, or some sort of "passing the torch" scene.

I do remember original cast member Martin Landau attending the premiere of the original M:I, mainly because of his infamous clash with MTV VJ Kennedy, when she had no clue as to why he was there. IIRC, she didn't even realize it had been a TV show.

Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor...

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RealityChuck/Boston Charlie
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From the New Orleans Times-Picayne, May 28, 1996.

It's one mission Peter Graves said he probably wouldn't have accepted.

Graves, who played Jim Phelps - as in "Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it . . ." - wasn't asked to revive his signature role in the movie version of "Mission: Impossible."

And for him, that's just fine.

Graves said he always saw his character as an all-American hero, not the double-agent turncoat portrayed by Jon Voight in the film.

"So even if they had approached me I very much doubt that I would have wanted to be involved," Graves told Sunday's Daily News.

"To me Jim Phelps was a brilliant strategist who pulled off amazing confidence games with great sophistication and aplomb," he said. "I don't think I could have brought myself to play him as a bad guy."

So Tom Cruise never offered (he wanted to make a clean break with the TV series to avoid comparisons), but Graves claimed he never would have played the part as written.

Chuck "I prefer Stephen Hill" Rothman

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