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Credit: Paramount Pictures

Mission deferred: Paramount delays Mission: Impossibles 7 & 8 amid coronavirus

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Apr 24, 2020, 2:58 PM EDT

The IMF team led by Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt will now have to wait a little longer to undertake some crazy, death-defying stunts on the big screen. Amid the current health crisis, Paramount has decided to delay the theatrical openings for the next two Mission: Impossible sequels from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.

Per Variety, Mission: Impossible 7 (originally scheduled to July 21, 2021) will now arrive on Nov. 19, 2021. The eighth installment (once slated for August 5, 2022) was shifted to Nov. 4, 2022, the same release day as Warner Bros.' Shazam 2. These fresh dates are slightly unusual, as the blockbuster series primarily debuts its films in the summertime. The only outlier is Brad Bird's Ghost Protocol, which arrived in December 2011.

Filming for No. 7 halted back in late February when Italy started to feel the deadly fallout of COVID-19. The project—which is supposed to film back to back with No. 8—was just about to kick off a lengthy European shoot, starting with Venice. According to a different Variety report, the production is "trying to decide whether or not to scrap the Italian leg of production or push that part of shooting back until fall when the virus may have subsided."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Not much is known about the M:I sequels, except that it will reunite Cruise with a slew of actors from previous installments: Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust), Vanessa Kirby (White Widow), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn), and Henry Czerny (Eugene Kittridge).

Ving Rhames, who plays computer whiz Luther Stickell, hasn't been confirmed to return yet, but odds are good since he's the only other player besides Cruise to appear in every entry so far.

Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Nicholas Hoult (Dark Phoenix), and Shea Whigham (Joker) are joining as franchise newcomers.

McQuarrie is the only filmmaker to return for more than one M:I outing.


Credit: Paramount Pictures

Paramount also announced new release dates for The Tomorrow War (July 23, 2021), Paw Patrol (Aug. 20, 2021), and Dungeons & Dragons (May 27, 2022). Spell, an upcoming horror-thriller from director Mark Tonderai (The Passage, Locke & Key), was stricken from the schedule.