He’s jumped off buildings, hung outside aeroplanes, and will soon be diving off a cliff on a motorcycle. However, for his next trick, Tom Cruise might be going on his most impossible mission yet: ending the franchise.
Variety reports that Mission: Impossible 7 and 8, the next two films in the long-running series, are being planned as “a sendoff for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character.” Another insider called it a “culmination” of the series. Those two ideas aren’t exactly the same thing — the series could continue without Cruise, hypothetically — so Gizmodo has reached out to Paramount for possible comment or clarification. We’ll update this post if and when it happens.
There are certainly many things going on behind the scenes though. Both films were recently pushed back almost a year apiece, with Mission: Impossible 7 currently scheduled for July 14, 2023, and Mission: Impossible 8 opening June 28, 2024. The trade reports part of the reason for that is Cruise wants part eight, which starts filming soon, to be completely done by the time part seven is released. Apparently, part seven ends on a cliffhanger and Cruise and writer-director Christopher McQuarrie want to make sure the films fit together seamlessly. Plus, if these are really a sendoff for what’s become Cruise’s signature role, the trade reports he wants to make sure the ending is befitting of his decades of work. So that apparent pressure is yet another reason why everything is taking longer and getting more expensive.
All of this news is part of a larger, fascinating report on how part seven has ended up costing almost $US300 ($416) million to produce due to ongoing problems filming during the covid-19 pandemic. The film has had to start and stop seven times, pay as crew members waited out the delays, dealt with higher costs of materials, and much more. As a result, both Paramount and co-producer Skydance have had to spend much more than anticipated and tensions are high. And if this really is the end for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, there’s more on the line than just money. There’s a legacy.
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