Paramount Pictures will no longer film Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 back-to-back, according to a new report. The once planned two-part production under returning Rogue Nation and Fallout writer-director Christopher McQuarrie was to open across back-to-back summers — July 2021 and August 2022 — before Paramount pushed M:I 7 to November 19 of this year and M:I 8 to November 4, 2022, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because Paramount bumped its other Tom Cruise-starring tentpole, Top Gun: Maverick, from December 2020 to July, the Top Gun sequel's promotional tour will take Cruise out of action for a brief period.
Production on the still-untitled Mission: Impossible 8 will begin after Cruise completes promotional duties for Maverick, according to Deadline. In a February 14 post on Instagram, McQuarrie confirmed Mission: Impossible 7 wrapped filming in the Middle East and will return to London for "a few finishing touches" ahead of their "greatest challenge yet," adding the hashtag "#MI7MI8."
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McQuarrie previously said he was "freaked out" by the idea of tackling back-to-back Mission: Impossible sequels, telling Empire, "I pitched the idea of making two movies, and now I have to justify why it's two movies."
"You've got to earn that. You've got to make something that swallows the last three movies whole. I'm freaked out now," he said in 2019. "We've talked ourselves into something. Holy sh-t."
Cruise, who famously performs his own stunts and broke his ankle while filming the long-running franchise's sixth installment, is "not going to space, nor does he need to go to space," McQuarrie told the Empire podcast about M:I 7.
"We've figured out three obscene things that he's doing that I'm terrified of, that make the helicopter chase look like tinker toys," McQuarrie said. "He's training and he calls me and describes what he's doing and I laugh and I cheer, then I hang up and I puke into a bucket. He's training quite intensely right now."
On whether or not the seventh movie would end with a cliffhanger queuing up Ethan Hunt's return in the eighth movie, McQuarrie said in 2020, "I don't know... We don't even know if those movies connect yet."
Starring Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, and Angela Bassett, Mission: Impossible 7 opens on November 19. Mission: Impossible 8 is scheduled for release on November 4, 2022.