It's difficult to imagine now, but there was a time when Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible was seen as a one-off movie instead of an entire franchise. Recently, writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga discussed how their 1996 hit movie Star Trek: First Contact brought them to the attention of Cruise, who then asked them to rewrite the script for Mission: Impossible 2 after talks ended with the movie's original writer David Marconi. Ronald D. Moore says this about how Star Trek helped save the Mission: Impossible franchise.
"[First Contact] came out November 1996, and a Paramount exec that worked on First Contact approached us shortly after the premiere, in December. We had been approached by Don Granger [who was the feature exec on Star Trek at the time]. He called us and said 'Hey, we're having trouble getting M:I-2 off the ground. I think you and Brannon might be good candidates to help."
"It was obviously a big opportunity for us, and a very fun one, to go from having this great, formative experience starting our careers working on Star Trek for the last few years to, now, having a chance to work on a Tom Cruise movie."
Mission Impossible 2 is seen as somewhat of an odd entry in the series. Directed by Chinese action auteur John Woo, the movie is best remembered for its over-the-top bike-jousting scenes, the inexplicable doves flying into the middle of scenes, and Cruise's bare-handed mountain climbing bit, which created the concept of the actor doing increasingly more dangerous stunts in each new installment of the franchise. As Moore went on to explain, even back then Tom Cruise was very deeply involved in the creation of the film beyond simply being the main lead.
This collaboration between the writers and Cruise lead to many of the movie's most well-known scenes, including the mid-air hijack of a passenger plane, the concept of the movie's central Mcguffin, the 'Chimera' virus, as well as the rock climbing sequence, which Moore declares was entirely Cruise's idea.