Christopher McQuarrie gave us a great Mission: Impossible movie with Rogue Nation back in 2015, but he really outdid himself last summer with Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Some critics even made the bold statement that it was one of the greatest action movies ever made.
After that movie came out and rocked audiences across the globe, McQuarrie vowed that he was done with the Mission: Impossible franchise, since he’d set the bar as high as he possibly could. But a few short weeks later, he was announced to be writing and directing the seventh and eighth M:I movies back-to-back. Just when McQuarrie thought he was out, they pulled him back in! Here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible 7 & 8.
8 Christopher McQuarrie will write and direct both movies
Despite coming into the franchise on its fifth installment, Christopher McQuarrie has hit a couple of Mission: Impossible director milestones. He’s the first ever filmmaker to helm more than one M:I movie (and now, he’ll also become the first to direct more than two and the first to direct more than three, too).
He’s also the first to write and direct a whole M:I movie by himself. J.J. Abrams co-wrote Mission: Impossible III with a couple of other writers and McQuarrie worked on the story for Rogue Nation with Drew Pearce before getting full screenplay credit himself. But he wrote and directed Fallout by himself, as he will with 7 and 8.
7 They’re filming back-to-back
The seventh and eighth Mission: Impossible movies are scheduled to shoot back-to-back. This was first teased with an image of the M:I logo with two fuses burning on either side of it. It was a fun way to combine the news with the iconography of the franchise.
It is a common practice in Hollywood for multiple sequels to shoot back-to-back if the studio is certain they’ll do well at the box office. Whenever it’s been done before – e.g. the second and third Matrix movies, Infinity War and Endgame, The Lord of the Rings trilogy – the narratives of the movies have been closely connected. So, we’re probably looking at a continuous two-part story with these sequels.
6 They’ll be released in 2021 and 2022
Paramount didn’t just announce that the seventh and eighth Mission: Impossible movies will shoot back-to-back – they also announced the release dates. The seventh one will be released on July 23, 2021, while the eighth will release on August 5, 2022.
In the summer of 2021, Mission: Impossible 7 will face competition from The Batman, Jurassic World 3, Fast and Furious 10, Indiana Jones 5, and James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel/reboot. Less movie releases have been announced for 2022, but from what we do know, Mission: Impossible 8 will be up against Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Aquaman 2, and the first chapter of Disney’s newly announced Star Wars trilogy.
5 Rebecca Ferguson is back as Ilsa Faust
Rebecca Ferguson’s special agent Ilsa Faust made a huge impact on audiences when she debuted in Rogue Nation. So, it wasn’t long before she was signed back on for Fallout. And it wasn’t long after that before she was signed back on for Mission: Impossible 7.
Ferguson has a few high-profile projects coming up: Men in Black: International, the MIB reboot starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson due out this summer, and Doctor Sleep, Mike Flanagan’s sequel to The Shining, whose release date has been moved up to this November. She’s also signed on to appear in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune.
4 Tom Cruise has “really big ideas” for M:I 7 and 8
When Christopher McQuarrie was asked about the development of the two back-to-back sequels, he said, “I can tell you, Tom [Cruise] already has a lot of really big ideas. Yeah. World-topping s***.”
We’ve seen Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt scale the tallest building in the world, dangle from a moving helicopter, jump out of a plane, hang off the side of another plane during take-off, ride a motorcycle the wrong way around the Arc de Triomphe, and keep running after breaking his ankle on a jump between skyscrapers. If his ideas for stunts in the next two movies are “really big” compared to those, then audiences are in for a real treat.
3 Ethan Hunt might go to space...
This one is a bit of a stretch, but to be fair, when McQuarrie was asked if Ethan Hunt would go into space in either of these sequels, he didn’t say, “No! What, are you kidding? That would be ridiculous.”
Instead, he said, “That would be entirely up to SpaceX or NASA. They would have to be involved with that, I would imagine. Or Paramount Pictures. I don’t know how much they want to invest.” So, it seems like it could be a real possibility. James Bond went to space in Moonraker. The best way to top that in Mission: Impossible would be to actually go to space.
2 ...But he won’t go to the Moon
If the idea of Ethan Hunt going to space had shades of James Bond’s excursion to the Moon in Moonraker, then don’t worry about him following too closely in 007’s footsteps. Some people have joked that the only way Tom Cruise can top his stunts from the earlier movies is by going to the Moon.
Christopher McQuarrie may be open to doing something in outer space with the seventh and/or eighth Mission: Impossible movies – or, at the very least, he’s not ruling it out – but he has offered a reason why he wouldn’t send Hunt to the Moon: “Here’s the problem with going to the Moon: how do you fall from the Moon?”
1 M:I 7 and 8 will “swallow the last three movies whole”
If Christopher McQuarrie went to the Paramount executives with the idea to do two more Mission: Impossible movies simultaneously, you’d think he has a grand plan for them.
But he doesn’t. In a recent statement to Empire magazine, he actually sounded pretty nervous about the pressure: “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 s**t.” He’ll surely pull it off in the end, as he’s done before.