Mission accepted. Christopher McQuarrie is coming back for two more Mission: Impossible films. Variety reports that the Rogue Nation and Fallout filmmaker has signed on to write and direct the next two Mission films. McQuarrie confirmed the news on twitter.
But that’s not all! Per the report, the studio is planning to ride on the popularity of the franchise (and perhaps mitigate the encroaching reality of an aging franchise star) and shoot the next two films back-to-back, with Mission: Impossible 7 set for summer 2021 and Mission: Impossible 8 to follow on 2022. The dates were set to avoid conflict with Paramount and Cruise’s upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, (which McQuarrie also had a hand in).
Fallout grossed more than $790 million worldwide last year, making it the highest grossing film in the series to date, and with McQuarrie has been eyeing different projects since the film’s release, Paramount reportedly knew they needed to move fast to bring McQuarrie back. The plan is for McQuarrie to start writing the script while Cruise continues filming Top Gun: Maverick and per the report, the studio is eyeing a start of production sometime in 2019.
McQuarrie’s return marks a significant and definitive shift for the franchise, which famously saw a new director take over with each new installment for the first four films. With the news of McQuarrie’s new deal, that means he’ll have directed four films of his own by the time this is over, making half the franchise his work. Not that that’s bad news. Starting with Ghost Protocol, (which, it’s worth noting, had some significant script work from McQuarrie) the franchise has really found its feet, delivering a killer mix of ensemble work, truly mind-blowing action set-pieces, and a sense of character and narrative that was largely missing from the first (still great) three films.