Mission: Impossible 7 is on the way. When Megastar Tom Cruise decided to light the fuse on the reboot of the longtime, fan-favorite 1966-73 TV series Mission: Impossible (MI), no one in their right mind (even Cruise himself) could have imagined that MI would not only get a sequel but many more than that.
That first feature film would become over a $3.5 billion dollar franchise with six films under its belt. That, given what the screenwriters, producers, and director did to the character of Jim Phelps, anyone would want to see more Mission: Impossible. And the franchise is still rolling going into Mission: Impossible 7.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7 IN PRODUCTION
The first Mission: Impossible was a Tom Cruise movie and his popularity, as well as his desire to continue on with the franchise, was the driving force for more. It continues to be the franchise’s driving force going in to Mission: Impossible 7. As the movies progressed, the action was amped up as were the wild and crazy stunts (many of which Cruise performed on his own).
So, what do we know about Mission: Impossible 7? It’s not the last in the franchise. Tom Cruise and company are filming Mission: Impossible 7 AND number 8 back-to-back. Yes, two more MI movies are in the works.
Mission: Impossible 7 had already begun filming when the Coronavirus pandemic virtually shut down Hollywood. It is not known how much of the movie was in the can by then, but things on the set are about to ramp up again as production is scheduled to commence in September. They even have a new set of COVID-19 guidelines they will be required to follow as cameras roll.
DISASTER ON THE SET
Tom Cruise is well liked by his co-stars but he does take his movies seriously. When things go wrong, he gets pissed. Case in point: Mission: Impossible 7. Tom is currently working on the seventh installment in his signature action franchise and things have not been going well.
Production on Mission: Impossible 7 recently hit a roadblock when a stunt went wrong and a motorcycle exploded. According to a report from The Sun a motorbike hit a ramp like it was supposed to, and the stuntman who was on it landed on a bed of pillows and cardboard like he was supposed to. However, shortly afterward the motorcycle burst into flames and it all went to hell.
Apparently the tires on the motorcycle’s tires were so hot from the workout the stuntman had just put it through, that it sparked the cardboard and the bike exploded into flames.
The Sun’s source says of the situation: “Fortunately, nobody was hurt but it’s a total catastrophe, not to mention extremely expensive for all concerned. Tom is very frustrated. Nobody wants more delays.“
Mission: Impossible 7 has gone through a series of setbacks and is already 4 months behind schedule. Most of the delays have been due to the Coronavirus and there seems to be a sense from Tom Cruise and everyone in Hollywood that this short window they have right now to shoot movies will soon close. There’s a rush to get things done before governments start locking things down again and prevent people from going to work to earn a living.
THE CAST OF MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7 AND 8
Tom Cruise is the star of Mission: Impossible 7. His Ethan Hunt is, much like Jim Phelps, the driving force of the new MI crew. He will be once again joined by Simon Pegg as Benji, Ving Rhames as Luther, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa, and Vanessa Kirby as the White Widow. Of course, this is confirmed only for Mission: Impossible 7 and we have no idea who will or will not survive the seventh outing to show up in Mission: Impossible 8.
As for any new characters, fans of the first movie may be pleased to know that former IMF Director Kittridge, played wonderfully by Henry Czerny, will make his triumphant return. We don’t know Kittridge’s current affiliation to the IMF, if there even is one.
It has also been confirmed that Hayley Atwell (Captain America, Agent Carter) will be on board Mission: Impossible 7 with a character described as a “destructive force of nature.”
Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Esai Morales (Ozark), and Shea Wigham (Joker) are also on board for Mission: Impossible 7. Morales was a late entry as he took over the role once held by Nicholas Hoult, who had to leave for scheduling reasons.
If you’re curious about the one name not mentioned, it’s because there is no word yet on if Jeremy Renner will return as IMF agent William Brandt.
THE PEOPLE MAKING THE MISSION
While the franchise has been on solid ground, the many changes in the first four outings brought Oscar-winning screenwriter (for The Usual Suspects) Christopher McQuarrie on board as writer and director for 2015’s Rogue Nation. McQuarrie returned for the most profitable entry with MI6: Fallout and the success he’s had with those two movies definitely earned him a return for both Mission: Impossible 7 and 8. Besides, he is a Tom Cruise favorite. The franchise looks to be in great hands.
THE PLOT OF MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7
Of course, we know practically nothing of where Mission: Impossible 7 will take Hunt and the IMF group.
Writer McQuarrie has talked about Mission: Impossible 7 but has been hesitant to drop any hints. Talking to Light the Fuse podcast about filming back-to-back he says, “We knew what the ending was and we knew what the beginning was. And now I had these two sequences, which means, I’ve got 40 minutes of Mission: Impossible 8 figured out.”
McQuarrie also explained that he sees more of the other IMF characters involved besides just Ethan Hunt, “When we went into making Fallout, I said to Tom, ‘I really want to make this more of an emotional journey for [Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt]. Going into this, I said, ‘I want to take what we learned from Fallout and apply it to every character in the movie. I want everyone to have an emotional arc. … I just want the movie to have more feeling across the board.” So, expect more depth from Pegg, Rhames, Ferguson, and company.
There are a few questions that need to be answered in Mission: Impossible 7. For instance, how will the IMF team move forward after bad guy August Walker (Henry Cavill) killed Alec Baldwin’s Alan Hunley? Will we also see a return of Hunt’s ex-wife Julia Meade, who unexpectedly met Ferguson’s Ilsa? Talk about awkward.
Thank the devastating pandemic for pushing back the release date of both movies. Mission: Impossible 7‘s release date was moved from a summer 2021 date to November 19, 2021, which means M:I 8 will now follow by almost a year, scheduled now for November 19, 2022. This mission, should you choose to accept it, is to WAIT. Actually you don’t have a choice, but it’ll be worth it.
THE FIRST IMPOSSIBLE MOVIE
Actor Greg Morris, who played mechanical and electronics genius Barney Collier in both TV series’, got up and walked out halfway through the movie. His reason? The utter stupidity with how they handled Jim Phelps, who in the film was played by Jon Voight.
Jim Phelps WAS Mission: Impossible. He led the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) team as their director, getting them into tough situations and also helping to bail them out. Jim Phelps was the driving force and the link to the original series and the 1988 reboot. For a time, he was also the link to the Cruise movie.
But then filmmakers decided to get cute. The initial script was worked on by Cruise, his producing partner Paula Wagner and filmmaker Sydney Pollack. Brian DePalma (Dressed to Kill, The Untouchables) was then brought on board to direct. After two failed scripts, screenwriters Steve Zaillian (The Irishman), David Koepp (Jurassic Park), and finally Robert Towne (Chinatown) all combined to take a shot at it. More changes, more writers writing. What ended up on the screen did not sit well with Mission: Impossible aficionados. They took the beloved Jim Phelps and turned him into a murdering mole within the IMF.
Greg Morris wasn’t the only original MI’er who had issue with the movie’s plot. Graves was extremely unhappy with the handling of his character as was Martin Landau, who played Rollin Hand in the original series.