If there’s a word that describes the direction that the Mission: Impossible franchise has taken in its most recent years, it’s “escalation.” Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has been working on the franchise since his uncredited work on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol brought him to the table, with Rogue Nation marking his directing debut in the series. And now, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout driving the stakes even higher, and two more films on the franchise slate, McQuarrie is unsurprisingly freaked out about making the next two entries in the series.
With three films under his belt, and the pair known as Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 in his cart for the foreseeable future, Christopher McQuarrie talked about the way he landed himself into this proverbial mess. McQuarrie’s summation of the situation was as follows:
I pitched the idea of making two movies, and now I have to justify why it’s two movies. You’ve got to earn that. You’ve got to make something that swallows the last three movies whole. I’m freaked out now. We’ve talked ourselves into something. Holy shit.
The first nugget to unpack from Christopher McQuarrie’s comments on the next two Mission: Impossible films is the fact that he’s planning something so big, it needed two films to tell. Right there, any sane director who isn’t named Joe or Anthony Russo would be shaking more than a little bit, as making two back-to-back films as big in scope and budget as Mission: Impossible is a prospect.
Then comes the fact that while Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 are continuing the franchise, judging by Christopher McQuarrie’s comments above, it sounds like these twin amazements are going to bring a new level of story continuity to the franchise. While previous history had the series operating on a "mission of the movie" strategy, the films have slowly been morphing into something akin to James Bond's continuing war with SPECTRE.
It increasingly sounds like these two films, opening just a little over a year apart from each other, are going to operate on the same sort of schedule, and some information already available would support that theory. Previous stories have reported that Mission: Impossible 7 would not only see the confirmed return of Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, but there was also a potential for the return of Henry Cavill’s August Walker and Alec Baldwin’s Alan Hunley, both of whom perished in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Coupled with the seventh film being close in release, and continuity, to Mission: Impossible 8, we can pretty much assume that the story of the IMF versus The Syndicate isn’t over just yet.
Still, as McQuarrie told Empire Online, the prospect of making two more Mission: Impossible movies would be intimidating at face value. This story that Christopher McQuarrie has expanded the series lore with has grown more exciting, and more elaborate, with each passing film. If there’s anything that’s gotten bigger than the story these movies have to tell, it’s the impressive stunts and action sequences, which see Tom Cruise pushing himself into harder edged practical thrills each time out.
Perhaps the best way to sum up the supposed problem Christopher McQuarrie has with his continuation of the Mission: Impossible series is summed up in a further comment he offered in this same interview:
Here’s the problem with going to the moon: how do you fall from the moon?
While we don’t know how one is supposed to fall from the moon, we certainly hope Tom Cruise hasn’t read that and started drawing plans for a lunar freefall in his head. That particular feat seems too impossible, but what isn’t outside of the realm of possibility is the fact that Cruise and McQuarrie can definitely work out something so impressive that the next two Mission: Impossible films will be something to behold. After all, this franchise isn’t Mission: Play It Safe, it’s Mission: Impossible.
Mission: Impossible 7 is slated for release on July 23, 2021, with Mission: Impossible 8 having an August 5, 2022 debut penciled into its schedule. But if you want to see something in your local theater in a more recent context, check out our 2019 release schedule for an up-to-date roster of this year’s major releases.