Mission: Impossible - What Happened To Nyah (Why She Didn't Return)

The Mission: Impossible franchise hasn't revisited Nyah's story after Mission: Impossible II, so what happened to Thandiwe Newton's character, and why didn't she return? The Tom Cruise-led sequel introduced several new characters to the franchise, but it was Nyah Nordoff-Hall who received the biggest role of them all. While plenty of supporting characters from the movies have come back in future films, Mission: Impossible has yet to continue Nyah's story past Mission: Impossible II.

Nyah's involvement in Mission: Impossible II saw her work alongside Ethan Hunt to take down her former boyfriend, Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott). It was decided that Nyah would work as a mole within Ambrose's operations to try and stop the spread of the Chimera virus. She ultimately decides to sacrifice herself by injecting the last of the Chimera virus into her bloodstream. However, Mission: Impossible II ends with Ethan and Luther (Ving Rhames) managing to save Nyah's life. The Impossible Missions Force then clears Nyah's criminal record, and the movie ends with her on vacation with Ethan. This has proven to be the last time Nyah has been part of the Mission: Impossible franchise, so what happened to her?

Related: Mission: Impossible - How Old Ethan Hunt (& Tom Cruise) Is In Each Movie

Unfortunately, the Mission: Impossible sequels haven't done as much as acknowledge Nyah's existence. It is known that a romantic relationship between her and Ethan didn't last, as he is in love with Julia (Michelle Monaghan) at the start of Mission: Impossible III. There is a chance that scrapped plans for Nyah's return after Mission: Impossible II can provide a bit of clarity about what happened to her next. Thandiwe Newton was offered a chance to return for J.J. Abrams' sequel. Nyah's role in Mission: Impossible III would've seen her be a highly skilled IMF agent working with Ethan. Even though the movies haven't shown this to be part of Nyah's story, it offers a general idea of what her future in the franchise could've contained.

Nyah's lack of development after Mission: Impossible II isn't entirely the franchise's fault, as Thandiwe Newton turned a chance to return in Mission: Impossible III. At the time, Newton cited wanting to spend more time with her family as the reason why she wouldn't come back. However, there appears to be another factor in her lack of interest in playing Nyah again. During an interview in 2020, Newton admitted that working with Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible II was very challenging. She mentioned frustrations filming different scenes and their different working styles as reasons why it wasn't always an enjoyable experience. Any return to Mission: Impossible would likely require interacting with Cruise, so Newton just might not be interested in going through some of that again.

Since Thandiwe Newton has already turned down one chance to return, it is unclear if she'll ever return to play Nyah again. There are no confirmed plans for that to happen in Mission: Impossible 7, but director Christopher McQuarrie could possibly have a role for her in mind for Mission: Impossible 8. Thandiwe Newton is a much bigger actress now, though, so hopefully, any future Mission: Impossible return gives Nyah an important role.

More: How Mission: Impossible 2 Changed Tom Cruise's Career (For Better And Worse)

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