The Mission: Impossible franchise just keeps rolling and rolling. It all began in 1996 with the legendary Brian De Palma in the director's chair, and over the years the series has continued making money while going through multiple writers, directors and cast members. The one constant has been Tom Cruise who, after briefly seemingly ready to leave the franchise, is now committed to delivering a sixth Mission: Impossible.
Besides boosting Cruise's career as an action star, the Mission: Impossible series has always been a great boon to the lead actresses chosen to star with him. Thandie Newton and Rebecca Ferguson both received the M:I boost at one time (Ferguson will reportedly be back for the next film), and now Paramount, Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie are wrapping up the process of choosing a new young face to pair with the star in Mission: Impossible 6.
According to Variety, Vanessa Kirby - who plays the Princess Margaret to Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown - is the one about to land a coveted spot as Cruise's female cohort in the action-packed spy thriller sequel. Mission: Impossible series regulars Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg also reportedly will be back for the sixth installment along with some unexpected familiar faces.
Kirby has made a big impression on television with roles in The Crown, The Frankenstein Chronicles and mini-series Great Expectations and The Hours. Her film roles include the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, the mountain climbing adventure epic Everest and last year's romance Me Before You. Kirby also survived appearing alongside Shia LaBeouf in 2013's bizarre indie film, Charlie Countryman.
If Kirby does land the female lead alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 6, she can expect to be put through an intense physical experience as she tries to keep up with the movie's irrepressibly spry and danger-flaunting 54-year-old star. Cruise never skimps when it comes to delivering action and his female co-stars tend to find themselves right in the thick of it with him. The up-side is that, when Cruise tabs an actress to be his co-star, it usually becomes a springboard to much bigger things.
It's somewhat surprising how durable the Mission: Impossible series has proven to be, especially when you consider that at one point Cruise was actually ready to jump off (he's being paid handsomely for Mission: Impossible 6 so there's no danger of him bailing now). The newest movie is expected to go before cameras beginning at some point in 2017, with an eye on a 2018 release date. Vanessa Kirby might want to start limbering up right now.