MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7/8 Director Explains Why Sequels Were Split In Two; Teases Major Role Yet To Be Cast

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7/8 Director Explains Why Sequels Were Split In Two; Teases Major Role Yet To Be Cast

In an unexpected move, Tom Cruise and Chris McQuarrie decided to split the next Mission: Impossible film into two-parts, and the director has now elaborated a bit on what led to them making that call.

While production on Paramount's Mission: Impossible 7 & is currently on an indefinite hiatus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, director Chris McQuarrie recently made an appearance on the Light The Fuse podcast to share some interesting intel on what to expect in the highly-anticipated action sequels.

Having directed both Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible - Fallout, it was no surprise that Paramount Pictures and producer/star Tom Cruise went back to McQuarrie to take the helm of the franchise's seventh and eighth installments, the tentatively titled Mission: Impossible 7 & 8, which are the first chapters in the long-running series to be split in two. 

Speaking on the decision to announce two sequels, McQuarrie explained, "And the reason there are two is quite simply when we went into making Fallout I said to Tom, ‘I really want to make this more of an emotional journey for Ethan.’ Knowing full well that that would be a longer movie because the action just consumes an obligatory amount of real estate. You’re only left then with so much room for story. So, I knew Fallout would run longer. Going into this, I said, ‘I want to take what we learned from Fallout and apply it to every character in the movie."

He and Cruise proceeded to map out what he describes as "this sprawling movie" and while they initially felt great about it, they both ultimately came to the realization that it was just a little too long. "We realized we had a movie that was two hours, forty minutes long, and every scene in it was necessary."

They then backtracked a bit, and McQuarrie, who divides his Mission movies into 20-minute segments during planning, decided to remove two of those sequences before it all finally clicked. "The ending of the first movie snapped into place. We knew what the ending was and we knew what the beginning was, and now, I had these two sequences, which means, I've got 40 minutes of Mission: Impossible 8 figured out."

While he may have some of Mission: Impossible 8 already in the bag, fans shouldn't expect Mission: Impossible 7 to end on a major cliffhanger as McQuarrie has previously indicated that both films would tell complete stories that, while unconfirmed, may tie together a la Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

On another note, while most of the cast has been revealed, McQuarrie did tease that there is still one major role that had yet-to-be cast and it sounds like he's already found the actor, although it remains to be seen when their deal will close. "There is someone we were talking to before the world blew up. An actor I was very excited about. I don't know where that is, because we had talked days before [the shutdown] and it was an incredibly exciting casting coup."

He also hints that "Any character, dead or alive, is fair game to return," which may open the door for the likes of Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) or Alec Baldwin (Mission: Impossible - Fallout), and countless others.

Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 are headlined by Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) as IMF ace Ethan Hunt, as well as fellow returning stars Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) as Ilsa Faust, Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) as Benji Dunn, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) as Luther Stickell, and Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) as the White Widow. Newcomers to the storied action franchise include Hayley Atwell (Avengers: Endgame), Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Endgame), Shea Whigham (Joker) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), who is rumored to be playing the villain. Henry Czerny (Sharp Objects) has also been confirmed to reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film.

There is likely more information to come regarding who will make up Ethan Hunt's team for his seventh and eighth adventures, with fans holding out hope that some combination of Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Angela Bassett (Erica Sloane), Paula Patton (Jane Carter) and/or Maggie Q (Zhen Lei) will also return. 

Both sequels are expected to film back-to-back, with Mission: Impossible 7 set to light the fuse in theaters on November 19, 2021, while its sequel, Mission: Impossible 8, will open the following fall on November 4, 2022. 

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