It seems weird to recall now, but after Christopher McQuarrie directed Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and signed on to return for Fallout, making him the first director to return in the franchise, fans weren’t sure they wanted him back, as they had grown accustomed to a new director putting their own spin on the franchise.
But after the critical acclaim Fallout garnered, that is no longer the case, and fans were clamouring for the director to return. And he will. And not for just one film, but for two, that will be shot back-to-back. McQuarrie confirmed the news on Twitter:
Mission: Impossible 7 is set for summer 2021, with the eighth instalment arriving in 2022. The dates were set to avoid conflict with Tom Cruise‘s Top Gun: Maverick, and the decision to shoot two films back-to-back seems to be for Paramount to quickly get two more films out of an ageing Cruise.
Fallout grossed more than $790 million worldwide, and its critical success led to McQuarrie eyeing other projects. Paramount reportedly knew they had to move fast to bring him back. The plan is for McQuarrie to start writing the script as Cruise films Maverick, and the studio is hoping production can get started sometime this year.
So this is great news for Mission: Impossible fans, and now certainly marks a shift in the franchise. This is both McQuarrie and Cruise’s vehicle to drive now, when before Cruise was the only constant as the tone and filmmaking shifted around him.
Once McQuarrie came on board during Ghost Protocol – which was directed by Brad Bird but had significant rewrites from McQuarrie – the series found its feet as the go-to franchise for incredible action set-pieces.
Although in some ways Fallout felt like the apotheosis of the series since it was such an absurdly glorious culmination of what McQuarrie and Cruise had been building to, no one will complain that the team gets to go around at least two more times.