The world rejoiced when news hit that actress Hayley Atwell was joining the Mission: Impossible franchise last week, but now the Captain America: The First Avenger star has confirmed that she’ll be in both upcoming Mission sequels. Paramount Pictures signed Rogue Nation and Fallout writer/director Christopher McQuarrie to return for both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, to be shot back-to-back, so it was unclear if Atwell’s commitment would be for just one or both films.
Luckily, Atwell took to Instagram to express her enthusiasm regarding the news, and confirmed that she’ll be in both movies. Moreover, she describes her role as “the female lead,” so this isn’t just some supporting turn. That raises some questions regarding Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who was the female lead in both Rogue Nation and Fallout and is returning for the Mission sequels. Will she be killed off mid-movie, or is Ilsa more of a supporting character this time around? Since her debut in Rogue Nation Ilsa’s allegiances have always been murky at best, but her connection with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is undeniably compelling.
But of course, there’s room for as many female leads in Mission 7 and 8 as McQuarrie and Cruise concoct. Vanessa Kirby was a wonderful addition to Fallout as White Widow, and Angela Bassett made a terrific new IMF director. It’s unconfirmed if one or both of them will be back, but here’s hoping. One imagines Michelle Monaghan is done, as it was nice to see the Ethan/Julie relationship finally find closure at the end of Fallout with Monaghan’s emotional return.
Plot details for the next two Mission movies are under wraps, but McQuarrie is toiling away as Cruise sees to the post-production of Top Gun: Maverick. Filming on Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 is expected to get underway next year, so look for more casting news in the coming months. For now, check out Atwell’s Instagram note below, along with a storyboard tease from McQuarrie.