Tom Cruise has been both producing and starring in Mission: Impossible movies for the past nineteen years, but neither he nor the film series has yet to lose a step, judging by the early critical reactions to Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (opening in theaters this Friday, at the time of writing this). Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the espionage action franchise overall, though it's unlikely to be the last, judging by the film's pre-release box office tracking.
Development on Mission: Impossible 6 was previously rumored to have already begun, but now Cruise has confirmed that the project has started making its way down the pipeline. However, while three and a half years have passed between the release of Rogue Nation and its predecessor, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, it appears Ethan Hunt's (Cruise) next mission could end up arriving sooner.
Cruise, during an appearance on The Daily Show, confirmed to host Jon Stewart that the plan isn't to end the Mission: Impossible franchise with Rogue Nation:
“We’re starting to work on [Mission: Impossible 6] now. We’ll probably start shooting it next summer [in 2016].”
Currently (as the actor mentioned to Stewart), Cruise is filming the 1980s-set CIA/drug crime thriller Mena alongside his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. It was reported back in May of this year that Cruise intends to reunite with his Last Samurai director Ed Zwick to shoot the Jack Reacher sequel after Mena wraps production, starting by the second half of 2015. There are a handful of other projects that Cruise is loosely attached to (such as Top Gun 2) that he could set to work on after he reprises as Jack Reacher, but right now it sounds as though Mission: Impossible 6 is the bigger priority for him.
There's been no word yet on who's handling screenwriting duties for the sixth Mission: Impossible movie, though Cruise has long been actively involved in planning out set pieces and action sequences for this franchise, and that shouldn't change now. The series producers J.J. Arabms, David Ellison, and Dana Goldberg are expected to return for Mission: Impossible 6, while Rogue Nation writer/director (and frequent Cruise movie collaborator) Christopher McQuarrie may well be involved in some creative capacity. Similarly, Cruise's recurring costars (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames) are all expected to return for the sixth impossible mission.
Cruise has preferred to have a different director for each Mission: Impossible installment, so that each film has its own distinct style; and thus, the Mission: Impossible film brand is better able to remain fresh and draw in audiences with its promise of thrills that are familiar, but unique, at the same time. McQuarrie is unlikely to direct Mission: Impossible 6 for these reasons, so now is the time for fans to pitch their pick of filmmaker whom they've always wanted to see put their spin on this franchise.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opens in theaters this Friday. We'll keep you posted on Mission: Impossible 6's development as more information becomes available.
Source: The Daily Show