The task of seeing the newest Mission: Impossible movie has once again gotten a little impossibler, as Deadline reports that both currently-planned sequels to the Tom Cruise spy franchise have been pushed back on the release calendar.
For those keeping track at home, that’s Missions: Impossible 7 and 8, which have now been moved to 2023 and 2024, respectively, per an announcement today from Paramount Pictures and Skydance. This isn’t the first time either movie has been delayed, either; M:I 7 had been previously scheduled to debut in July 2021, November 2021, May 2022, and September 2022. (It’s currently sitting at July 14, 2023…for now.)
Although he’s been busy filming (mostly on this seventh film), star Tom Cruise has had a very quiet pandemic, release-wise; his other major feature sitting in post-production right now, Top Gun: Maverick, has similarly been bouncing around the schedule for the last few years in hopes of finding a palatable spot to land. It’s not entirely surprising, given that Cruise tends to make the sorts of big, literally explosive action movies that both seem to demand theatrical screenings, and big theatrical returns. But the point stands: He hasn’t had a movie in theaters since the last Mission: Impossible movie, 2018's Fallout, the longest gap in his filmography since the famously long lead-up to the release of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut back in 1999.
Mission: Impossible 7 was directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who’s directed a decent chunk of Cruise’s cinematic output over the last few years. (He’s also handling Mission: Impossible 8, now set for a June 28, 2024 release date.) 7 will star Cruise and returning co-stars Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson, with Hayley Atwell and Esai Morales also coming aboard the franchise.
Cruise made headlines last year after he launched into an expletive-laden lecture on the film’s set over reported failures by crew members to follow COVID-19 guidelines. (The film had already had its production shut down at least once due to outbreaks.)