Mission: Impossible 7 - Here's Why Esai Morales Replaced Nicholas Hoult as the Villain

Earlier today came the news that Deathstroke actor Esai Morales from DC Universe's Titans had been enlisted for both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 with director Christopher McQuarrie officially confirming the news himself After Morales' involvement was announced the reports started to trickle in that this wasn't just a new addition, but rather a replacement. Morales has reportedly joined the cast in place of X-Men and Mad Max: Fury Road star Nicholas Hoult. We now know why as Variety reports that the production delay on Mission: Impossible caused by the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an overlap in Hoult's schedule for the second season of his TV series The Great.

The next two installments in the hit action franchise will be filming back-to-back, releasing one year apart from one another once they're complete. As stated, production has been stalled on the movies with Mission: Impossible 7 delayed four months and now slated to hit theaters on November 19, 2021. Mission: Impossible 8 will open on November 4, 2022, pushed back from its original August 5, 2022 release date.

Tom Cruise returns as lead character Ethan Hunt, and he's joined by co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, and Hayley Atwell. Christopher McQuarrie, fresh off directing Mission: Impossible 5 and 6, will return behind the camera for both movies.

McQuarrie previously described how the writing and structuring of the Mission: Impossible movies has developed over his time with the franchise, having been involved in more than half of the films in the series. The Oscar winning writer previously told Empire Podcast that internally they think about the "Mission" movies as being constructed in twenty minute segments and that while breaking down the final segment for Mission: Impossible 7 they came to a profound realization.

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"We were all sitting down working on this very big sequence that ends the first movie, and we started taking account of everything we were planning to do and for the first time we started to say 'Alright, why don't we start thinking fiscally and responsibly about how we're actually going to make this movie.' and I realized that there were too many twenty-minute chunks in our movie and we had a choice to make, 'Are we going to make another Fallout or not?' And what would happen if we took one or two of these things out, and when we did that it radically altered the process yet again, and suddenly two twenty minute chunks came out of the movie and moved into the next movie, and I went 'The second movie's halfway done!'"

McQuarrie went on to talk about how the two films will connect and if there's some kind of cliffhanger from the seventh to the eighth movie with a surprising answer, saying: "I don't know....We don't even know if those movies connect yet."

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