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Since 1995, Tom Cruise has kept a recurring gig playing Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible movies, based on the same-named 1960s TV series. He most recently reprised the stunt-loving secret agent last year in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and following the critical and commercial success of that installment, Mission Impossible 6 was all set to go. However, the movie has hit a snag during the pre-production phase because there's a salary issue that needs resolving.
According to Deadline, Mission Impossible 6 production has been paused in order to work out a monetary dispute with Tom Cruise. Director Christopher McQuarrie had just begun writing the script while the production team in London began working on "soft prep work" (specifically working on visual designs) but they were told today to stop. Two possible reasons for the delay were provided. The first is that Paramount wants Cruise and the movie's other producers, including Bad Robot and Skydance, to "trim their fees." The other reason reported was that Cruise might want Paramount to up his pay past what he got from Universal for his role in The Mummy, but Paramount supposedly wants to pay him the same amount as they did for Rogue Nation. It's unclear which of these is the cause for the delay, but either way, work on Mission Impossible 6 has halted.
Fortunately for Mission Impossible fans, this delay won't be too huge of a problem in the grand scheme of things. The sixth movie is still early in the creative process, and since Tom Cruise is the star of this series, Paramount will do whatever is necessary to get him back on board. Once that's done, the prep work will resume. The article notes that production is scheduled to begin in January 2017, so working out these issues now was better than having them hanging around when the cameras actually start rolling.
Just like the previous Mission Impossible movies, Mission Impossible 6 will see Ethan Hunt going on a dangerous mission either on behalf of Impossible Mission Force, the U.S. government's espionage agency, or for some other, world-threatening reason. Aside from Tom Cruise reprising the main protagonist, Rebecca Ferguson will return as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, who was introduced in Rogue Nation. Beyond that, no plot details have been revealed and we don't know whhat other characters, be they new or established, will appear. If the past five movies are any indication Ving Rhames will likely appear as Luther Stickell, while Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner may also return as Benji Dunn and William Brandt, respectively.
Mission Impossible 6 hasn't been officially assigned a release date yet, but if principal photography will begin early next year, then it stands to reason it will it theaters sometime in 2018.