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Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise, despite his age, remains one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood, and oddly enough, the hard-to-believe yet mostly practical stunts that he pulls off time and time again are only getting crazier. Cruise, who most recently starred in the 2018’s Mission:Impossible Fallout and actor proved that even in his mid 50s, he's still one of the top action stars around. We're always up for a good Tom Cruise movie, and honestly, everything else the actor has coming up — Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7, namely — looks pretty damn good too.

Most of Tom Cruise’s movies have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic closing down film and television productions around the world and audiences’ reluctance to return to movie theaters, the veteran actor-turned-stuntman has a lot for us to look forward to here in the next year or so. While a couple of them are the requisite sequels that come with success, several others are wholly original projects, like the one that will reportedly take Cruise to space. All that being said, we're looking forward to simply learning more about many of these, never mind actually seeing the finished product, so here are some upcoming movies from one of the most notable, and hardworking, figures in Hollywood.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick - July 2, 2021

The idea that there might, one day, be a sequel to Top Gun has been one of those development ideas that hasn't died since the first movie came out in the mid-1980s. However, now we know that after all the talk, the movie is actually happening, but just not as soon as everyone had originally hoped. The title is Top Gun: Maverick and it will follow Cruise's Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as an instructor at the flight school where he finds himself working with Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former partner Goose. In addition to finding himself in the middle of a dangerous mission that could end in tragedy, Maverick is forced to confront his past, most notably the death of his best friend and wingman all those years ago.

This version of Top Gun: Maverick has been in the works since 2010, when Paramount pictures approached producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott about making a sequel to the 1986 action blockbuster, according to New York Magazine. There wasn’t much traction with the project until 2017 when Deadline revealed that Top Gun: Maverick would see the return of Tom Cruise’s iconic fighter pilot, this time being directed by Joseph Kosinski, the director of Tron Legacy and Oblivion. Originally set for a July 2019 release, the Top Gun sequel has been delayed multiple times over the past few years, and it looked like we would be seeing Cruise take flight in June 2020. That date, however, was pushed back to December 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disturbances in the entertainment industry.

Now it looks like we’ll have to wait until at least next summer to see Top Gun: Maverick, as the film is set to take flight on July 2, 2021, in the valuable Fourth of July weekend spot that’s often reserved for big-budget action flicks like Top Gun.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Mission: Impossible 7 - November 19, 2021

At this point in his career, Tom Cruise could only make Mission: Impossible movies and his millions of adoring fans wouldn’t mind. Since first taking on IMF agent Ethan Hunt with the first entry in the franchise in 1996, Cruise has put his life on the line too many times to count by doing everything from climbing the face of a cliff with no safety gear, climbing the tallest building in the world, holding onto an airplane during takeoff, and the list goes on. Cruise looks to keep up with that trend with Mission: Impossible 7, in which Ethan Hunt will team up with his old buddies. And while we don’t yet know what the movie is about, the cast, which includes returning members of the IMF team as well as Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, and Esai Morales, has us stoked.

Production on Mission: Impossible: 7 was originally supposed to get underway in February 2020 in Italy, but when the country went into a virtual shutdown, things moved to England before being shut down. Tom Cruise didn’t let COVID-19 stop him from putting his life in danger by filming some insane stunts that will surely up the ante for future installments (more on that next). No surprise here, but all those delays in filming forced Paramount Pictures to push back the release of Mission: Impossible 7 from its original date of July 23, 2021 to a more comfortable November 19, 2021. If this date sticks, Tom Cruise is going to have one hell of a 2021, proving that even as he nears 60 years in age, he’s still one of the most bankable action stars in Hollywood. And this isn’t even the end of Cruise’s journey with the Ethan Hunt character.

Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise, and Ving Rhames in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Mission: Impossible 8 - November 4, 2022

If Mission: Impossible 7 is a mystery, then its sequel, Mission: Impossible 8 is an even bigger one. Going off comments director Christopher McQuarrie made during a May 2020 appearance on the Light the Fuse podcast, the eighth movie in the franchise will be tied to the events of its most recent predecessor more than ever before. During that appearance, McQuarrie revealed that he is essentially turning one Mission: Impossible movie into two so that he can further explore all the characters similar to how he took a deep dive into Ethan Hunt’s past (including some throwbacks from earlier entries in the franchise) in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Instead of making one extremely long movie that would require trimming some of the more emotional beats, the director essentially wants to let those stories breathe.

Tom Cruise previously confirmed the existence of Mission: Impossible 8 in January 2019 when he tweeted a short video showing the Mission: Impossible logo with a caption reading “Summer 2021 and Summer 2022.” At the time, the eighth movie was supposed to drop on August 5, 2022, but in wake of everything happening with the movie industry, Paramount Pictures pushed back the release three months to November 4, 2022. According to Variety, both Mission: Impossible sequels were supposed to be shot back-to-back in order to be ready for the original release dates, but we’ll have to see how that goes with all of the delays.

Tom Cruise in Oblivion

Luna Park - TBD

Originally, the word was that Tom Cruise was going to join his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for Luna Park before playing Ethan Hunt again in Mission: Impossible. While that didn't happen, there's every reason to believe that Luna Park will happen once schedules align. The description of Luna Park sounds like what is essentially a heist movie, except the thing being stolen is a power source, and the place it's being stolen from is the moon. Cruise has been solid in science fiction in recent years, so we're all for it. We'll know this one is a go when more cast is announced, as a heist movie will certainly need a team.

It has long been speculated that Luna Park and the Tom Cruise sci-fi movie that will actually be shot in outer space are one and the same, considering both are to be directed by Doug Liman. Not familiar with the Tom Cruise/Space X/NASA team-up movie? Cruise and Liman are scheduled to be passengers on Space X’s Dragon Axiom when the spacecraft goes to the International Space Station in October 2021. Details are light at this point in time, but expect to hear more about the project in the next year or so as we get closer to the historic launch. If nothing changes, Cruise and Liman will film the first movie actually shot in space. I mean, can you imagine anyone but Tom Cruise shooting a movie in the vacuum of space? Hopefully we’ll find out how Cruise’s signature charm and love of out-of-this-world stunts stand up in zero gravity.

Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

Live Die Repeat And Repeat (Edge of Tomorrow 2)

Tom Cruise will always be known for his Mission: Impossible movies and classics like Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, and Risky Business, but the action star has also been in his fair share of science fiction films throughout his career. Since the start of the 21st Century, Cruise has had leading roles in Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Oblivion, and Edge of Tomorrow or Live Dive Repeat. And with talk of a potential Edge of Tomorrow 2 or Live Die Repeat and Repeat in the works, it’s only a matter of time before Cruise’s William Cage returns in some shape or form (or time loop).

While Edge of Tomorrow wasn't a literal blockbuster, it was a successful box office film both financially and with fans. While a sequel to the film hasn't been given an official announcement, Christopher McQuarrie and other hired screenwriters are involved. Tom Cruise and Doug Liman are basically working together on a semi-permanent basis these days so this one will happen eventually. Emily Blunt previously said the script for Edge of Tomorrow 2 was being worked on, and in March 2020, the star of A Quiet Placesounded pretty optimistic about the future of the rumored follow-up to the underrated action flick. Hopefully we’ll learn more about Live Die Repeat Repeat here pretty soon, but with Cruise, Liman, and McQuarrie being extremely busy with other projects, we might be waiting on this one for quite some time. I just hope it’s not as long as the break between the Top Gun movies.

Those are all the upcoming Tom Cruise projects we can expect to see in theaters at some point in the next couple of years. Make sure to check CinemaBlend’s 2020 and 2021 movie release guides for the latest information on these titles as well as all the other great theatrical releases slated to come out in the coming months.

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