Have you noticed how in the past few months pretty much every time someone mentions Mission: Impossible 7 or Mission: Impossible 8, it’s because of yet another delay? Well, according to a story that came out today, all of those delays have less to do with any pandemics and mostly to do with a brewing legal dust-up between Tom Cruise and Paramount Studios. Allegedly, Cruise and the studio he’s worked with for close to four decades can’t come to an agreement on the films’ release windows.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an unnamed source has told the outlet that Tom Cruise got his lawyers to start crossing swords with Paramount early last year. The main sticking point is reportedly the release window of Mission: Impossible 7. THR says Paramount wants to give the film a 45-day release window before putting it on Paramount+, while Cruise allegedly wants the usual three month theatrical run the Mission: Impossible films have enjoyed in the past. THR also claims Paramount and Cruise have agreed to postpone any final decision until after M:I 7 is completed.
There are still more reported points of contention between Tom Cruise and Paramount, related to the studio’s hopes for a bright streaming future. THR says the studio approached Cruise about both a Mission: Impossible series for its streaming service, and another show based on the actor’s 1990 sports action drama Days of Thunder. Cruise allegedly answered a resounding “no” to both.
THR is also claiming that the multiple delays for Cruise’s two final Mission: Impossible films are allegedly a calculated tactic on the actor’s part. Their unnamed sources say that the longer Tom Cruise can keep M:I 7 a “work in progress,” the fewer budget restrictions Paramount can impose on M:I 8. Originally scheduled for July 23, 2021, M:I 7 has been delayed four times, with the current release date sitting at July 14, 2023.
Tom Cruise isn’t the only one who allegedly isn’t happy with Paramount. Last month, Paramount’s stock took a huge hit after an investor presentation when the company committed to going all-in on streaming. The pledge came along with a long list of new projects, including new shows and/or movies for Star Trek, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Yellowstone.
The aftermath of Paramount’s announcements about new Star Trek projects could prove illuminating about whether or not Tom Cruise and others are justified to be worried about Paramount’s recent moves. Among the list of new projects was the long-awaited Star Trek 4, which JJ Abrams confirmed would begin shooting by the end of the year. Soon afterward, reports emerged that neither Chris Pine — who plays Captain Kirk in the films — nor anyone from the principal cast had heard anything about Star Trek 4, a script, or a shooting schedule. Karl Urban — who plays Dr. McCoy — would later say not only did he not know anything about it, but that he was scheduled to shoot season 4 of Amazon’s The Boys through the end of 2022, presumably making it impossible for him to shoot Star Trek 4. One might speculate that this is a sign the studio is moving too quickly, and isn’t bothering to get its proverbial ducks in a row before making seismic shifts in how it operates.