Mission: Impossible 7 director on why the movie has been split in two and a major "casting coup"

(Image credit: Paramount)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to watch two new Mission: Impossible movies in 2021 and 2022. Easy, right? Well, try directing them.

Christopher McQuarrie has opened up on why the next instalment in the franchise was split into two – and also hinted at a major as-yet-unrevealed addition to the cast.

“I said to Tom [Cruise], 'I really want to make [Mission: Impossible Fallout] more of an emotional journey for [Ethan Hunt],'" McQuarrie told the Light the Fuse podcast about the decision to do an Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame-style back-to-back release in consecutive years. "Going into this, I said, 'I want to take what we learned from Fallout and apply it to every character in the movie. I want everyone to have an emotional arc.”

“We realized we had a movie that was two hours, 40 minutes long,” McQuarrie continued. “And every scene in it was necessary,” while adding that “the ending of the first movie snapped into place,” during development.

So, who’s turning up alongside Cruise’s Ethan Hunt for the unprecedented Mission: Impossible operation? Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return from previous movies, as do Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby. Lorne Balfe is back as composer.

But it’s the new faces that should surprise. Hayley Atwell – who can now count a Mission: Impossible two-hour stunt audition for the role on her CV – will star, as will another major name if McQuarrie is to be believed.

“There is someone we were talking to before the world blew up," he said. "An actor I was very excited about. I don't know where that is, because we had talked days before and it was an incredibly exciting casting coup.”

Whoever it is, expect them, Cruise, and the rest of the assorted cast to take the Mission: Impossible to new, possibly quite literal, heights. Following a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mission: Impossible 7 is now set for release on November 19, 2021, with the sequel to follow a year later on November 4, 2022

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.