Tom Cruise has dedicated close to 30 years of his life delivering life-threatening cinematic spectacles through the Mission: Impossible franchise. Across seven instalments, the man has come millimetres from losing his eye… scaled the Burj Khalifa without a harness… dangled out of an Airbus 400 during takeoff… executed a textbook HALO jump from 25,000 feet… choreographed helicopter chases around mountains, and as you’ll soon discover with the forthcoming Mission: Impossible 7, ride a motorcycle off a cliff edge – hands down the “single most dangerous thing” he’s ever done, according to the man himself. Sadly, this era of high-octane, Buster Keaton-inspired shenanigans is coming to an end, as Variety reports the film series will be bookended by Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 in a two-part affair.
“Tom Cruise wants to have finished making the eighth film before the seventh film is released,” writes the entertainment publication.
“The two films were originally scheduled to shoot concurrently, but that plan was abandoned. [Mission: Impossible 8] is about to go into production in South Africa.”
“That’s because the seventh movie ends with a cliff-hanger and the star wants to make certain that the transition between instalments is seamless.”
“The plan is for the seventh and eighth films to serve as a sendoff for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character – a ‘culmination’ of the entire series, as one insider described it – which has also upped the pressure on the star and [director Christopher McQuarrie] to deliver a slam-bang farewell to the super spy.”
“There’s also Tom Cruise’s desire to dial up the “wow” factor. The actor believes he needs to keep topping himself in order to delight fans.”
Currently, it’s unclear what Mission: Impossible 8 will resemble beyond as a No Time To Die-tier farewell for Cruise’s iconic IMF agent – and beyond featuring multiple international locations + some batshit insane stunt as the entire film’s centrepiece – although the very same report from Variety did provide some insight regarding what we’re in for with Mission: Impossible 7.
Due to the numerous hurdles presented by COVID-19 over the past few years, the production budget has swelled to a considerable US$300 million / AU$418.8 million; and that’s before we account for marketing expenses. Just for comparison, here’s what each Mission: Impossible instalment cost to make vs its respective worldwide box office revenue (all $$$ = USD):
- Mission: Impossible (1996)
$80 million production budget vs $457.7 million box office revenue
- Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
$120 million production budget vs $549.6 million box office revenue
- Mission: Impossible III (2006)
$150 million production budget vs $399.4 million box office revenue
- Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
$145 million production budget vs $694.7 million box office revenue
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
$150 million production budget vs $688.8 million box office revenue
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
$178 million production budget vs $787.2 million box office revenue
In addition to being the franchise’s seventh entry, this would also make Mission: Impossible 7 the seventh most expensive film ever made. Right on par with Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – both of which also achieved the US$300 million / AU$418.8 million benchmark – while edging out Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and JJ Abrams Star Wars: Episode 9 – The Rise of Skywalker – both of which required approximately US$275 million / AU$384 million.
“These action-oriented blockbusters carry massive budgets and span countries and continents, which create logistical headaches at a time when the virus has proved to be so mutable and enduring,” explains Variety.
“Many major studio releases have had to add tens of millions of dollars in costs associated with instituting COVID precautions and factoring in delays when outbreaks occur.”
Throw in building custom motorcycle ramps, helicopters, driving a train off a cliffside, plus all the insurance Mr Cruise requires before Paramount gives the green light, and you have yourself quite the monthly Amex statement.
After what seemed like an endless procession of delays, Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to finally hit international theatres on July 14th of 2023. Mission: Impossible 8, on the other hand, has locked in a June 28th of 2024 release date.