Mission Impossible 7 And 8: Everything We Know About The Action Sequels
Tom Cruise has played a variety of action heroes over the past few decades, but it's Ethan Hunt that has given the star his biggest success. The 1996 movie Mission Impossible was an update of the '60s TV show of the same title, and it proved to be a huge success. Inevitable sequels followed, but with different directors, writers, and supporting cast each time, Cruise was the only constant across the next few films.
This changed when Christopher McQarrie took on the job as writer and director for the fifth Mission Impossible movie, 2015's Rogue Nation. McQuarrie was already an experienced screenwriter (he won an Oscar for The Usual Suspects back in 1996), and had previously directed Cruise in the first Jack Reacher movie. The result was a huge critical and commercial success, ensuring his return for 2018's Fallout, which stands as the biggest box office hit in the series so far.
It wasn't remotely surprising when Mission Impossible 7 was announced. What was unexpected was the plan to make MI7 and MI8 back-to-back, meaning that fans have two new films in series to look forward to over the next couple of years. So here's everything we know so far about Mission Impossible 7 and 8.
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When will Mission Impossible 7 and 8 be released?
Mission Impossible 7 is set to hit theaters on November 19, 2021, while MI8 will follow on November 4, 2022. Both movies have been moved from their initial summer release date because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who's the director?
Christopher McQuarrie is writing and directing Mission Impossible 7 and 8 once more. McQuarrie directed the previous two Mission Impossible movies--2016's Rogue Nation and 2018's Fallout.
Who's coming back?
Obviously Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt once more. The core IMF team are also back, namely Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell and Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, with Rebecca Ferguson playing former MI6 agent and IMF ally Ilsa Faust for the third time. Vanessa Kirby, who made her MI debut in Fallout, returns as enigmatic arms dealer White Widow. And most excitingly for long-time fans of the series, Henry Czerny will play former IMF director Eugene Kittridge for the first time since the original movie.
Who's new to the cast?
There are several new cast members joining for Mission Impossible 7. Specific details about their characters are unknown, although McQuarrie has given us a few hints. Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) will play a character that the director has described as "a destructive force of nature," while Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy) will appear as a "femme fatale."
Esai Morales (Titans) recently replaced Nicolas Hoult--who had to drop out due to scheduling issues--as the movie's main villain, and there is a role for Shea Whigham (Joker, Boardwalk Empire). It's unknown if these stars will appear in both upcoming Mission Impossible movies, or just one.
Has production been affected by COVID-19?
Mission Impossible 7 started shooting in Italy in February, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the production was moved to the UK. After three weeks of filming there, production was halted entirely. However, it has been reported that the movie is set to resume production in the UK in September. Pegg recently told Variety that exterior scenes will be shot first, and that "obviously there will be precautions put in place."
What do we know about the story?
While McQuarrie hasn't revealed any specific plot details, he has provided a few hints about what to expect from the next two films. "I have to justify why it's two movies," he told Empire. "You've got to earn that. You've got to make something that swallows the last three movies whole. I'm freaked out now."
McQuarrie also revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the next movies will focus as much on the supporting characters as on Ethan Hunt. "I want to take what we learned from Fallout and apply it to every character in the movie," he said. "I just want the movie to have more feeling across the board."
And if you're wondering how exactly Cruise intends to top some of the truly reckless stuntwork that he performed in the last two movies, McQuarrie says they have that in hand. "We've figured out three obscene things that he's doing that I'm terrified of, that make the helicopter chase [in Fallout] look like tinker toys," he told Empire.
Have any footage or images been released yet?
No official footage or images have been released so far. However, some behind-the-scenes images did leak from the set in early March, shortly before production was shut down.
Will there be a Mission Impossible 9?
There's no word yet on if we'll see a ninth Mission Impossible movie. With so much work ahead of the filmmakers right now, it's unlikely much thought has been given to where the series goes beyond this point. But providing the movies stay successful and Cruise wants to keep risking his life for our entertainment, it's likely there will be more to come.