Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 will be Tom Cruise’s last as Ethan Hunt

Tom Cruise on the side of a helicopter in Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Ethan Hunt hangs onto a helicopter in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 will be the last in the franchise for leading man Tom Cruise, according to insiders on the upcoming projects.

Variety reports that next two films in the long-running series are being planned as a “send-off for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character” and a culmination of the six previous Mission films. 

Cruise first rappelled into action as Hunt in 1996 and last appeared in 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The franchise, which is known for upping the ante with each new instalment, has grossed over $3.5 billion at the worldwide box office in its 25-year history.

But the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has heavily impacted progress on the next two – and possibly final – movies in the series. In January, Paramount announced that it was delaying the release of Mission: Impossible 7 from September 2022 until July 14, 2023, which in turn pushed the ETA of Mission: Impossible 8 to June 28, 2024. 

Filming on the former has now wrapped – at the eye-watering cost of $290 million – though Cruise reportedly wants to have finished making the eighth film before the seventh is released, according to an insider cited in Variety’s report.

Mission: Impossible 7 will end with a cliff-hanger, so it figures that Cruise and long-time franchise director Christopher McQuarrie want to ensure both projects definitely see the light of day – and, given the tumultuous production history surrounding the two movies, you can’t blame them.

Mission: Impossible 7 was scheduled to begin shooting in Venice in February 2020, but production was halted and resumed seven (seven!) different times as Covid-19 restrictions in Italy changed with every passing month. 

Plans were also in place to shoot Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 concurrently where possible, though the idea was abandoned in light of pandemic-induced obstacles. 

The eighth instalment is, at long last, about to go into production in South Africa, Variety reports.

Bigger and better

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

(Image credit: Paramount)

So, what can fans expect from the final two movies (or so we’re led to believe) in Tom Cruise’s tenure as Mission: Impossible’s resident daredevil?

After the star scaled Dubai’s Burj Khalifa without a harness in Ghost Protocol, clung to the outside of an airplane in Rogue Nation, and jumped out the back of one at 25,000 feet in Fallout, it’s hard to imagine just how Cruise and his crew might raise the stakes yet again.

We’ve got an idea of one of the stunts we’ll see in Mission: Impossible 7, at least. In a 2021 interview with Deadline, Cruise hinted at a sequence in which the actor drives a motorcycle off a cliff-edge in Norway. 

“This is far and away the most dangerous thing I’ve attempted,” Cruise admitted, adding that the stunt is something he’s “wanted to do since [he] was a little kid.”

If it's more dangerous than holding your breath underwater for six-and-a-half minutes, as Cruise did for 2015's Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible fans are in for a treat come next summer.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.