Ever since the decades-spanning multimedia spy franchise “Mission: Impossible” was reinvented as a film series by Paramount in 1996, and tapped movie star Tom Cruise to be its face, the original cloak-and-dagger sneaky motif with occasional techy gadgets became more memorable as a high-adrenaline action extravaganza. In six cinematic releases the theme has not deviated at all. In fact, in a move inspired by New Line Cinema’s production of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy the production team was planning to film the seventh and eighth “Mission: Impossible” movies back-to-back. Unfortunately, plan changes due to COVID-19 have nixed that idea.

Comic Book Resources tells us that the production team for “Mission: Impossible 7” is no longer planning to commence work on “Mission: Impossible 8” once the current project goes into post-production for its planned release later in 2021. This is due of course to how the global COVID pandemic has upset film industry schedules with mandatory work stoppages to keep cast and crew safe from infection. Not helping is the fact that the “M:I” films are not the only works that Paramount Pictures is busying with to get into theaters, and certainly not the only projects with the studio that Tom Cruise is involved in.

Lest audiences forget, the lead star is also headlining another plum Paramount movie, “Top Gun: Maverick.” The COVID crisis has delayed its planned release to this coming June, and to promote it, Cruise will have to commit to a tour that might take him around the world. Said promo tour falls into the original timetable for when they would start principal photography for “M:I8.” Then again, if no other problems arise once “Maverick” premieres then optimally work on the eighth film can commence, meaning the gap between production of the seventh and eighth might not be that big after all, though no longer (strictly) back-to-back.

COVID-19 has proven a formidable nemesis for the production of “Mission: Impossible7.” The February 20, 2020 start in Venice, Italy was scrapped when the country went into emergency on account of the epidemic-turned-pandemic. They would not fully start until September last year, and in October 12 people on production tested COVID-positive. Other roadblocks to completing the film was a controversy concerning plans to cause blow up a dilapidated but historical bridge in Poland as part of an action sequence, only for historians and enthusiasts to intervene.

“Mission: Impossible 7” is slated to release on November 19, hopefully after COVID vaccines have started turning the worldwide situation around. Tom Cruise stars along with longtime costar Ving Rhames, plus Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Henry Czerny, Esai Morales, Angela Bassett and Hayley Atwell.

Image courtesy of ComingSoon.net