The plans for Tom Cruise's signature action franchise included an ambitious shoot that would see both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 filming back to back. Not even the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be able to thwart Tom Cruise’s big play to bring Ethan Hunt back to the big screen in one long period of production, harkening back to beloved franchises like Back to the Future and The Matrix. Now that will no longer be the case, as once Mission: Impossible 7 concludes filming, he won't able to start the net film. Instead, he'll be promoting the theatrical release of Top Gun: Maverick.
Apparently the shifting landscape of theatrical releases over at Paramount is what’s to thank for the break in the action between Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8. Per reporting from Deadline, the July 2nd release date of Top Gun: Maverick requires Tom Cruise to stop saving the world long enough to make sure it feels the need for speed. In the best case scenario, the press tour for long-awaited fighter pilot sequel would go off without a hitch, and as soon as that’s completed Cruise would be back at work with his IMF cohorts.
The back to back approach was the best course of action for both of these Mission: Impossible sequels, as writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has been teasing a story so large, it had to span two different films. With cast members like Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Hayley Atwell all along for the ride, the building blocks were already there for a smooth shoot that would see the next two installments potentially bundled up before the November 4, 2022 release date of Mission: Impossible 8.
2022 is seemingly a banner year for Tom Cruise, not only because of Mission: Impossible 8’s release, but also because he turns 60 that year. With a previous report on his Mission: Impossible stunt work supposedly saying that he’s looking to stop doing the hard stuff on camera at that very age, this new wrinkle in the production schedule might make that a little harder. Though at this time the November 2022 release date still stands for Mission: Impossible 8; so we might just see Mr. Cruise make it down to the wire, or give himself a little more time for one last thrill.
Of course, there was once a time when there was talk that Tom Cruise was leaving the Mission: Impossible franchise for good in the past; and that was around when Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol sounded like it was going to see Jeremy Renner become the franchise lead. So maybe we’ll just wait until those press round for Top Gun: Maverick start up later this year before we pass judgement, as you know one of the many questions will be whether or not Ethan Hunt’s last ride into the sunset (presumably off a mountain based ramp) will be with Mission: Impossible 8 or not.