The ambitious plan to shoot Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 consecutively is being altered. As the current production of M:I 7 nears completion, Deadline reports that the team will not be rolling right into shooting M:I 8 as originally planned. Christopher McQuarrie is writing and directing both sequels, after having become the first director to helm two Mission movies with the brilliant one-two punch of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. When he signed on to return – in true Mission form – it was to up the ante even further by making two sequels back-to-back.
But then the pandemic happened. Mission: Impossible was one of the biggest productions in the midst of filming when they were shut down, and when they resumed filming last summer it was with strict COVID-19 protocols – ones that franchise star and producer Tom Cruise took extremely seriously.
However, that pandemic delay and the delays caused by COVID-19 protocols mean that Cruise’s schedule is about to be interrupted by press duties for Top Gun: Maverick, and Deadline reports that’s the reason Paramount Pictures has adjusted the filming schedule for Mission: Impossible 8. The Top Gun sequel is on track to be released on July 2nd, and Cruise will be needed for the film’s extensive promotional campaign.
The plan now, according to Deadline, is to begin filming Mission: Impossible 8 this summer after Top Gun: Maverick (on which McQuarrie has a co-writer credit) is released. This also gives McQuarrie time to dig deep into editing on Mission: Impossible 7, as the film’s November 19, 2021 release date remains on track.
Although it’s also worth noting here that a break was always intended to make Cruise available for Top Gun 2 press duties (originally Top Gun 2 was set to be released last summer, right in the middle of M:I 7 and 8 filming). McQuarrie and Co. recently wrapped up a round of shooting in Abu Dhabi and are headed back to London to add a few “finishing touches”, but it should be noted that it’s extremely likely some scenes for Mission: Impossible 8 have already been shot as McQ has been signing his Instagram updates with “#MI7MI8” ever since filming first started in February 2020. All of this to say, perhaps the bulk of M:I 8 still remains to be shot, but this break in production was always planned to occur.
And if Paramount is willing to adjust the filming schedule of M:I 8 to accommodate press duties for Top Gun 2 this summer, that seems to suggest they’re bullish on the prospect of the Top Gun sequel hitting its theatrical release date. As the vaccine rollout continues, it looks likely that Top Gun 2 could be one of the first big movies to take advantage of a mostly open (and safe) theatrical rollout.
All told, it’s pretty spectacular that a production this extensive – and this location-heavy – was able to finish up in time to meet the film’s release date, and since Mission: Impossible 8 isn’t set for release until November 4, 2022, there’s plenty of time to get that one in the can even if they get the bulk of filming done later than expected.
Check out McQuarrie’s Instagram post for the full update. Mission: Impossible 7 also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Hayley Atwell, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, and Esai Morales.