“Mission: Impossible 8” Will Be Tom Cruise’s Last (and Craziest)
Mission: Impossible 7 has likely been Tom Cruise’s hardest challenge yet. This is due to several factors, the first, and most consistently pressing, was the pandemic. This next installment in Cruise’s now two-decade-old franchise has seen its production shut down due to COVID-19 multiple times, forcing Cruise, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, and the cast and crew to pivot, time and again, with each fresh delay. The second reason is Cruise’s own mentality, which is that each new Mission has to top the last in terms of the “wow” factor. Cruise and his incredible stunt team have managed to top themselves over and over again in what would seem to be an impossible game of one-upmanship. It’s been thrilling to watch.
Let’s take, for example, the time Cruise scaled Dubai’s half-mile-high Burj Khalifa tower in 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The wow factor seemed to have reached its giddy, vertiginous heights, and couldn’t be topped. Nope. Cruise and his expert team of stunt performers and coordinators have kept setting the bar higher, like in 2015’s Rogue Nation, when Cruise hung from the outside of an Airbus A400M Atlas airplane as it took off. Then in 2018’s Fallout, we spoke to stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood about how he helped prepare Cruise for two even crazier stunts. The first involved the actor performing a HALO jump (high-altitude low-open) from 25,000-feet. The second saw Cruise pilot his own helicopter in a dizzying, insanely daring chase scene for the movie’s climax.
Mission: Impossible 7 is now wrapped, and Mission: Impossible 8 is about to go into production in South Africa. Variety reports that 8 will be Cruise’s last mission, with the actor, McQuarrie, and the entire Paramount team committed to giving him the most epic sendoff possible. In fact, Mission: Impossible 7 won’t premiere until July 14, 2023, so Mission: Impossible 8 can open relatively soon after—June 28, 2024. The reason is Cruise wanted 8 to be done filming before 7 premiered so fans wouldn’t have to wait too long to get to his final mission. Why? Because Mission: Impossible 7 likely ends with a cliffhanger (this could be literal).
The joys of this franchise are many. They are shot largely in real locations across the globe rather than on sound stages, giving this globe-trotting spy saga the heft and weight of actual places. From Paris to Dubai to Prague to New Zealand, a Mission: Impossible movie is always a global adventure. Then, of course, it’s the commitment to the best-in-class stunts, which are more often than not done practically, without the aid of CGI or many other visual effects. Then there’s the game cast that surrounds Cruise, from his core stable of Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames to the semi-recent addition of Rebecca Ferguson and the most recent addition of Vanessa Kirby. And finally, there is Cruise himself at the center of it all, pushing himself and this franchise to reach ever-higher heights of old-school bravura filmmaking. You can be sure that the final two installments will be Cruise’s craziest missions yet, and they’ll deliver the delights of old-school bravura filmmaking that has made this franchise so special.
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Featured image: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance. © 2018 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.