The newest Mission Impossible has hit a bump in the road, and production on the sixth entry in the franchise has been halted.
Paramount Pictures had already begun soft prep for the film, with 15 to 20 people already hired, but those workers have been told to stop immediately. The reason they've halted is a bit unclear, but there are two prevailing theories (via Deadline).
One version of the story stars with the studio asking Cruise and their production partners Bad Robot and Skydance for a lowering of their fees, in an effort to keep the budget reigned in.
The second possibility centers around Cruise, who would like the studio to match the fee that he's making with Universal on the remake of The Mummy. Paramount doesn't want to do that, and would rather keep his salary at what he made in the last Mission Impossible.
The series has been incredibly successful, and the last entry, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, was produced for $150 million and went on to take in $682 million worldwide. The studio doesn't want to mess with a good thing understandably, but until the two can reach some sort of agreement, Paramount has shut down any production work on the film. Whatever deal they do end up working out, it has to be done before filming, as Cruise receives his sum upfront.
Also, Paramount doesn't want to start investing money into the project if their main star is at odds with them in a contract dispute, and the more money they invest the more precarious the situation becomes. The good news is that writer Christopher McQuarrie had recently finished working out the outline for the film with Cruise, and has just started working on the screenplay. That should give the studio and Cruise plenty of time to iron things out.