After learning this morning that Esai Morales (Titans; Ozark; Curb Your Enthusiasm) had joined the star-studded cast of Mission: Impossible 7 & 8, Deadline has provided some additional information regarding the villainous role he's signed on to play.
While it was initially believed that Morales had been cast in the mystery role that director Chris McQuarrie alluded to last week, the trade has learned that he's actually been brought on to replace the previously cast Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Mad Max: Fury Road), who has been forced to drop out due to a scheduling conflict caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent production delay.
With Hoult now unavailable through the end of summer and into fall when filming is tentatively expected to be back in full swing, the team sought out Morales to play the film's lead villain. Further details are currently unavailable.
Now, that Morales' role has been revealed, it appears as though there may still be one major role left to be cast, and while McQuarrie has already said they were close to a striking deal with an actor/actress, it's not entirely clear when we'll get more details.
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 also likely still 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. There have also been rumblings that the likes of Henry Cavill (August Walker) and Alec Baldwin (Alan Hunley) may also be back in some capacity.
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.