'Mission: Impossible' Sequels Delayed Due to Coronavirus Complications

Ethan Hunt is getting a longer break than anticipated after the events of Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Paramount announced Friday that the next two installments in Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The seventh and eighth films in the series were set to be filmed one right after the other and were previously scheduled to open in July 2021 and August 2022. Paramount also delayed the release of four other movies as a result of its reshuffling.

Production on Mission: Impossible 7 was about to start in Venice, Italy in February. Filming was put on hold indefinitely, making it difficult for the film to be ready by July 23, 2021. The new release date is now Nov. 19, 2021, reports Variety. Mission: Impossible 8 was scheduled to hit theaters on Aug. 5, 2022, but will not open on Nov. 4, 2022.

Paramount also set a new release date for Chris Pratt's post-apocalyptic thriller The Tomorrow World for July 23, 2021. An animated film based on the hit children's series Paw Patrol is now scheduled for Aug. 20, 2021. The Dungeons and Dragons movie was pushed from Nov. 19, 2021 to May 27, 2022. The horror movie Spell was delayed, but has not been rescheduled.

The Mission: Impossible franchise is inspired by the original 1966-1974 TV show, with every movie starring Cruise as Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt. The franchise was originally known for using a different director for each film, but after Christopher McQuarrie's 2015 film Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation became a critical and box office hit, he was given the reigns. McQuarrie guided the franchise to its biggest hit with 2018's Fallout, which grossed $790 million worldwide.

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M:I 7 is not the first Cruise tentpole impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, Paramount announced Top Gun: Maverick will not be released until Dec. 23, 2020. It was previously scheduled to hit theaters on June 24. Cruise once gain stars as "Maverick" Mitchell, 30 years after the original Top Gun. The film was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously worked with Cruise on the sci-fi movie Oblivion. Paramount reportedly spent over $150 million to make the film, so delaying it early gave the studio a much-needed opportunity to rework its global marketing campaign.

The original Mission: Impossible is part of CBS' revived "Sunday Night at the Movies" programming for May. The 1996 film, directed by Brian De Palma, will air on Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET. The "Sunday Night at the Movies" line-up features all Paramount movies, and starts on May 3 with Raiders of the Lost Ark.