It seems that Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has made yet another intense escape from perilous danger… though this time it's from the clutches of the release date Death Star that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Mission: Impossible 5 - the yet-to-be-subtitled latest entry in the venerable, reliably-performing Cruise franchise - was originally set to break its way into theaters on Christmas Day this year, just one week after The Force Awakens , but now it is being reported that Paramount Pictures has shifted project's release date in a major way to move it away from the sci-fi blockbuster.

The news, which comes to us from TheWrap, says that Mission: Impossible 5 will now be heading to theaters a whole five months earlier, and will now be in theaters on July 31st. This date sets it against much more feasibly beatable box-office peers like the remake of Point Break starring Luke Bracey; the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi body-swapper thriller, Self/Less (aka, NOT Deadpool); and Jake Gyllenhaal boxer drama, Southpaw.

The Mission: Impossible series has continued to show no sign of degradation in its box-office take with 2011’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol raking in nearly $700 million globally, outperforming its 2006 predecessor (ironically enough directed by The Force Awakens helmer, J.J. Abrams). The movie ranks as the most successful film of Tom Cruise's career, and naturally expectations and anticipation are high for the sequel. The shift in release date should greatly help the new film's numbers at the box office, as people won't have to choose between it and Star Wars at the end of the year.

While it's exciting that we'll be able to see Mission: Impossible 5 way earlier than originally thought, this news is a bit of a head-scratcher. The release date for the movie is now just six months away, and we know NOTHING substantive about it, at all. It’s very unusual for a film, especially one on this big-budget popcorn level to not even have so much as a basic plot synopsis floating out there in the ether this far from release. The window of a Christmas theatrical debut would have given Paramount the opportunity to spread marketing materials out over time, but now it looks like the promotional department for this film is going to have kick things into overdrive.

Beyond just promotional materials, however, let's not forget there’s the matter of the film itself. Mission Impossible 5 began shooting in Morocco back in August, with reports scattering about of Cruise doing his own stunts in some high-end racing vehicles and an Airbus A400M aircraft. But now that the movie will be coming out during the summer, that means that the time for post-production is being cut by six months - and that's quite a lot of post-production time. Here's hoping that the movie is currently way ahead of schedule.

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