Mission: Impossible, unlike another longtime action-spy franchise, is in the middle of an incredible run. The previous two installments, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) are two of the best action movies in recent memory, and producer/star Tom Cruise is hoping to keep the momentum going with the untitled next installment, due out in 2018.
One of the major strengths of the franchise is its recurring cast, which includes Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, and, on good days, Ving Rhames. As for the new film, Superman himself, Henry Cavill, just joined on, as announced via a sort of strange series of Instagram comments.
The series has not always done right by its female characters, though. Ghost Protocol co-starred Paula Patton as a badass IMF agent, but she did not return for the sequel (this great Jen Yamato piece digs in to how Patton’s been repeatedly mistreated by the industry). Rogue Nation saw the introduction of Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, an MI6 counterpart to Ethan Hunt.
Ferguson’s performance in the film was widely praised, and this time, the note seems to have been taken, as Ferguson will be returning in the role for the sequel. In a recent interview with Cinemablend, Ferguson confirmed that she’ll be shooting in both Paris and New Zealand for the world-hopping Mission: Impossible series.
The return of Ilsa Faust bodes well for Mission Impossible 6, and if he’s utilized correctly, Henry Cavill could be a positive development too. It’s reassuring to have Rogue Nation’s Christopher McQuarrie back to direct, although it breaks one of the most literally unbelievable streaks in modern movie history: up to now, each Mission: Impossible film had a different director, and they were, in order: Brian DePalma, John Woo, J. J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and McQuarrie.
The other big news about the new film is that Tom Cruise is yet again preparing for some insane practical stunt sequence. Each recent film has included a dramatic action stunt that Cruise insisted on doing himself, and it appears the new film will continue that trend. After climbing the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Ghost Protocol, and hanging on to the side of a plane as it took off in Rogue Nation, who knows what this next movie will bring?
In an interview with Collider, producer David Ellison said that Cruise has been “training for a year” for the new sequence (an entire sequence, not just a single stunt, as McQuarrie later clarified), which will be “the most impressive and unbelievable that Tom Cruise has done in a movie.” He’s apparently been training for it since “right after Rogue Nation came out.” Whew. I guess if Tom Cruise turns up dead anytime soon, we’ll know why (or we can at least narrow it down between a ridiculous physical feat and a sinister Scientology-related incident).
Few things make me as excited as a new Mission: Impossible movie, so this good news all just buoys my expectations for the sixth installment. There’s no release date yet, but the film is expected sometime in 2018. In the meantime, I may just have to rewatch Ghost Protocol again, if only for that hallway scene. You know the one: