M:I 7 gets a title as part of CinemaCon preview

Tom Cruise

The delayed Mission: Impossible 7 now has a title, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One, it was revealed during a preview at CinemaCon.

The reveal was reported by various outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline: Hollywood, and Empire. CinemaCon is the convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners. The M:I news was disclosed at a Paramount presentation at the convention.

The seventh and eighth installments of the Tom Cruise M:I film series have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both movies are directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also helmed the previous two films in the series.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One currently has a July 14, 2023 release date, with the next M:I movie coming on June 28, 2024. Cruise, who turns 60 on July 3, both stars in and produces the M:I films.

Cruise’s M:I, like NTTD before it, is in ‘the barrel’

Tom Cruise

Exploding production budgets and release delays stemming (at least in part) to COVID-19. That’s a familiar tale to fans of the cinematic James Bond and No Time to Die.

But, based on a Hollywood Reporter story posted March 24, the scenario is being repeated with Mission: Impossible 7 and 8.

Both projects have been in “the barrel,” something hit by bad luck — bad luck that lasts a long time.

No Time to Die, the 25th Bond film produced by Eon Productions, cost about $300 million to make. The movie incurred five delays, with three because of COVID-19. The other two were because the movie’s original director, Danny Boyle, departed because of “creative differences.”

Originally, Mission: Impossible 7 and 8, starring and produced by Tom Cruise, were to be made back to back.

M:I 7 has been delayed four times, THR noted, with a current release date of July 2023. MI:7 isn’t done yet while work has started on M:I 8, the entertainment news site said.

Here’s an excerpt:

By holding on to the film as a work in progress while working on the eighth, Cruise and his writer-director, Christopher McQuarrie, ensure that Paramount won’t have much luck imposing budget restrictions on what is allegedly the final installment in the franchise. It also gives Cruise — who has creative control — flexibility with respect to the cliffhanger ending of M:I 7.

Cruise’s Mission: Impossible movies have been popular. In the 2010s, there were more M:I installments (2011, 2015, and 2018) than Bond films (2012 and 2015). Some Bond fans point out that some M:I sequences were an homage to Bond. And the M:I films haven’t matched Bond’s global box office.

Regardless, since COVID-19, Cruise’s series has been challenged by the pandemic, as was No Time to Die, finally released in the fall of 2021.

THR reports MI: 7’s budget is at $290 million and counting (in the same territory as No Time to Die).

Another interesting tidbit in The Hollywood Reporter story: Cruise vetoed the idea of Paramount, the studio that releases the M:I movies, coming up with a television spinoff. The idea “was no-go,” THR said.

That sounds similar to how Eon Productions, which makes the Bond film series is resisting Bond spinoffs for streaming television.

Mission: Impossible originated as a TV series made by Desilu in 1966. It became a Paramount property when Lucille Ball sold Desilu to Gulf + Western, then the parent company of Paramount. That transition took place during the 1967-68 season. One week, the end titles had a Desilu logo. The next week, the end titles carried a “Paramount Television” logo.

You can CLICK HERE to read the entire THR story, written by veteran entertainment journalist Kim Masters.

Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 delayed again

Tom Cruise

Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 have been delayed again, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing an announcement by Paramount.

The newest installments of the Tom Cruise spy franchise are now scheduled for July 14, 2023, and June 28, 2024.

The two movies have been delayed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both films were directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who helmed the two most recent entries in the series, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible Fallout.

M:I 7-8 director announces casting

Christopher McQuarrie, director of the last two Mission: Impossible movies, is active on social media. He used his Instagram account to announce some casting moves for the seventh and eighth movies in the spy film series.

McQuarrie said Cary Elwes, Mark Gatliss, Indira Varma, Charles Parnell, and Rob Delaney are in the cast of M:I 7 and 8. No details about their roles. The director included head shots. Delaney is wearing a military uniform.

Originally, the two movies were to be filmed back to back. But the Deadline website reported in February that production of M:I 8 has been pushed back while star Tom Cruise promotes Top Gun Maverick.

M:I 7, 8 no longer shooting back-to-back, Deadline says

Tom Cruise hasn’t had such luck combatting COVID-19.

The seventh and eighth Mission: Impossible films are no longer filming back-to-back, the Deadline entertainment website reported.

M:I 7 has run into delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, M:I star-producer Tom Cruise has other duties.

“Sources said this is simply down to the shifting release calendar,” according to Deadline. Cruise “will now be needed on promotional duties by the studio for Top Gun: Maverick ahead of that film’s planned release on July 2, and will be out of action for a period. Once that film has rolled out – hopefully to packed cinemas in a post-Covid world – production on MI: 8 can begin, meaning the gap shouldn’t be too impactful.”

Over the weekend, the U.K. Sun tabloid reported that M:I 7 had been forced to cut short production in the Middle East for COVID-related reasons. Director Christopher McQuarrie appeared to dispute that in an Instagram post. “Now back to London for a few finishing touches. All aboard for our greatest challenge yet…” the director wrote.

Paramount’s original plan was to film two M:I films at once so they could be released a year apart. Marvel Studios did something similar with two Avengers movies released in 2018 and 2019. At one time, Bonds 24 and 25 were to do the same thing. But star Daniel Craig vetoed such a move. Bond 24 became SPECTRE. Bond 25, years later, is on hold as No Time to Die.

Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 get pushed back

Tom Cruise

The release dates of Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 have been pushed back because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Variety reported.

The seventh installment of the film series with Tom Cruise is now scheduled for Nov. 19, 2021, delayed from July 23. The eighth movie in the series is now slated for Nov. 4, 2022, delayed from Aug. 5 of that year.

The new dates were announced by Paramount, one in a series of release date changes disclosed by the studio, Variety said.

The coronavirus has shut down movie theaters and other businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. Various films have been affected, including No Time to Die, which is now set for a November release. It had been set to come out this month.

M:I 7 had been slated to be filming in Venice in February. Italy was hit hard by COVID-19 and filming was postponed.

Christopher McQuarrie, director of Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible-Fallout is directing M:I 7 and 8.

McQuarrie discusses chaotic M:I story process

A stunt from Mission: Impossible-Fallout

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie talked about the chaotic story process underway for Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 in an interview on the 400th episode of the Empire Film Podcast.

McQuarrie said filming will begin soon, without providing a precise date. The two movies will be filmed back to back for release in 2021 and 2022.

The M:I films are written around stunts and locations. McQuarrie described the story process as coming up with 20-minute segments. According to the director, he recently moved around two segments from M:I 7 to M:I 8.

“I’m not kidding, a week ago…I realized we had too many 20-minute segments in our movie,” he said. “Suddenly, two 20-minute chunks came out of the movie and moved into the next movie — which I haven’t even started thinking about yet.

“That immediately defined what the end of the first movie was,” he added. “People have been asking me are these two movies connected, is it one movie, does it end on a cliffhanger? I don’t know.”

In fact, McQuarrie said he still hasn’t figured out the name of the character that actress Hayley Atwell will play in the films.

The director said star Tom Cruise won’t go into space in the two new movies.

“If I don’t button that up, I’ll be answering questions about it for the rest of my life,” he said. “He’s not going to space, nor does he need to go to space. We figured out three obscene things that he’s doing that I’m terrified of.”

McQuarrie, 51, wrote and directed Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible-Fallout.

Cruise, who turns 58 in July, is in training for the M:I films.

To listen to the podcast, CLICK HERE. The McQuarrie interview starts just past the 2-hour mark.

M:I Rogue Nation’s attempted ‘fan service’

Steven Hill as Dan Briggs in a first-season episode of Mission: Impossible. The photo he’s looking at is of M:I creator Bruce Geller.

During the scripting of 2015’s Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the filmmakers considered using the character of Dan Briggs, leader of the Impossible Missions Force in the first season of the M:I television series.

The source of the information: Christopher McQuarrie, the film’s writer-director himself.

Background: Steven Hill played Briggs in the 1966-67 season of the show. But he was dismissed and Peter Graves came aboard as Jim Phelps for the rest of the series.

McQuarrie relayed the following in a Jan. 12 tweet:

Fun fact: Dan Briggs was in early drafts of Rogue Nation as a long-lost IMF agent.

This concept, like most of our attempts at fan service, collapsed quickly under it’s own weight.

Vague remnants of Dan’s story informed a character that ultimately evolved into Ilsa Faust.

McQuarrie’s tweet was in response to a fan post on Twitter.

Isla Faust was the character played by Rebecca Ferguson. Both character and actress returned in 2018’s Mission: Impossible-Fallout.

McQuarrie currently is in preparation for two more M:I films that will be filmed back to back. They will be released in 2021 and 2022.

RE-POST: Why Bond 25 didn’t economize

Daniel Craig in Skyfall

Updated from an April 3 post.

NEW INTRODUCTION: This past week, The Hollywood Reporter had a feature story about No Time to Die cast members Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas that had a passing reference that the film’s budget was $250 million.

On Nov. 9, the Daily Mail had a story with a passing reference that the budget was 200 million British pounds ($257 million or so, depending on the conversion rate).

Regular readers of this blog were probably not surprised. In April, the blog had a post about why it was not likely the 25th James Bond film didn’t do much economizing.

Since that post was published, it became public knowledge that writer-actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge also worked on the movie’s script. Her reported fee (via The Hollywood Reporter) was $2 million. Thus, there’s even more evidence that spending on the movie continued on the high side.

Over the past few days, other outlets have picked up on the $250 million budget figure for No Time to Die. SPECTRE had a $245 million figure (after tax breaks, product placement and other incentives were factored in).

What follows in the text of the blog’s original post on the subject.

ORIGINAL APRIL POST: Bond 25 production got underway last week with some filming in Norway. There’s a lot we don’t know (including a title). But there are some signs that the film isn’t traveling in Economy Class.

Delays in production: Eon Productions began renting space at Pinewood Studios last year. But filming there has been delayed at least five months.

Eon couldn’t just give up that space. Demand for space at Pinewood is high. So that’s a few months without any footage actually being shot. That makes it harder to economize.

An expensive script doctor: Scott Z. Burns recently spent four weeks working on Bond 25’s script. He’s a well-regarded scribe and he’s moving into directing. His services are in demand. It’s likely his Bond 25 services didn’t come cheap. (UPDATE: Burns’s involvement was confirmed in late April at the “reveal” event in Jamaica.)

The star may have gotten a raise: Variety last year reported that Daniel Craig will receive $25 million for his fifth 007 film. The truth is known to Craig, Eon boss Barbara Broccoli, Craig’s agent and the various studios backing Bond 25. Still, it’s unlikely Craig’s services are receiving discounted rates.

The Mission: Impossible franchise means now isn’t the time to economize: This is a favorite fan theory/speculation. During the 2010s, the Mission: Impossible films starring and produced by Tom Cruise have cranked out three entries while Eon’s 007 series will have two.

Moreover, the M:I films have gotten a lot of attention for their stunts, big set pieces and international intrigue — things the 007 films are known for.

Paramount recently announced the Cruise M:I series will produce two more entries back-to-back, coming out in 2021 and 2022. By the time the latter entry is out, Cruise will be 60 and Christopher McQuarrie will have written and directed four films.

M:I 7-8’s social media campaign is underway

Mission: Impossible-Fallout poster

Mission: Impossible 7 won’t be out until July 23, 2021 and M:I 8 isn’t due out until Aug. 5, 2022. But the social media campaign already is underway, thanks to director Christopher McQuarrie.

Earlier this month, McQuarrie used an Instagram post to tease how actress Hayley Atwell will be in the two movies.

The director’s post was a bit vague. It had a photo of Atwell on top of an Impossible Missions Force holder. “Should you choose to accept…,” he wrote.

The post evoked the 1966-73 television series, where either Dan Briggs or Jim Phelps looked at operative photos while selecting those who would participate in a mission.

In any case, entertainment outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter jumped on McQuarrie’s post and did stories.

Atwell later did her own Instagram post to make clear she’s in both M:I 7 and MI: 8.

” I’m thrilled to have joined @tomcruise and @christophermcquarrie for the next TWO Mission Impossible movies,” she wrote. “To have gone from a classical play in the west-end to an audio book recording of a great new novel to a Disney/Marvel animation and now the female lead in a huge action franchise is the kind of variety that fuels my curiosity and keeps me learning and striving to be better and do better.”

McQuarrie, though, wasn’t done. Today, he posted a glimpse of new M:I story boards on both Twitter and Instagram.

All of this shows how marketing of movies has changed with social media. Projects try to attract and maintain attention long before films come out. It will be interesting see what happens when filming actually starts.

Here’s a look at McQuarrie’s tweet from today.

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