Looks like Tom Cruise was right all along. After the actor laid into the crew of “Mission: Impossible 7” back in December 2020 about keeping to COVID-19 protocols to prevent shutdowns and delays, “M:I7” and its sequel “Mission: Impossible 8” have been pushed back to 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Paramount and Skydance made the decision to move to new dates as uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in Hollywood.
‘Mission: Impossible 7’ Musical Chairs
If you’ve been keeping track, this latest change is the sixth time the “Mission: Impossible 7” opening date has been moved in the past 20 months.
Paramount initially moved the Tom Cruise tentpole in April 2020 from its initial July 2020 premiere to December 2020.
From there, “M:I7” moved to November 19, 2021, then May 27, 2022, and September 30, 2022.
The new premiere date is July 14, 2023.
“Mission: Impossible 8” was originally scheduled for July 7, 2023 and will now open June 28, 2024.
Tom Cruise Blasted ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ For Breaking COVID-19 Rules
It was back in December 2020 that Tom Cruise went off on the “M:I7” crew in a now-viral video, lambasting crew members who had been standing too close to each other in violation of the set’s social distancing protocols.
“We are the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us,” he said. “Because they believe in us and what we’re doing. I’m on the phone with every f-ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf-ers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”
Cruise’s outrage was largely met with support at the time, particularly because there was so much uncertainty about the ability to return to filming amid the ongoing pandemic. At that point there were no vaccines available and every positive case meant a lengthy – and costly – production shutdown.
“You can tell it to the people who are losing their f-ing homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night – the future of this f-ing industry!”
The High Cost Of COVID-19 In Hollywood
Cruise wasn’t wrong in his assessment of the pandemic’s huge toll on the film industry. Though filming has resumed in much of the world, the highly infectious omicron variant has led to production pauses on several television shows including Grey’s Anatomy.
COVID-19 safety protocols require sets to shut down if a positive test shows up, and this can be extremely costly. Shows and movies that shoot on sound stages don’t have to worry about location fees, but they have to pay for costs that stem from the delay. Locations can become unavailable, as can cast and crew who have other obligations.
In other words, shutting down for COVID-19 can be a huge mess, and that’s why Cruise was adamant that the “Mission: Impossible 7” set follow protocols to the letter.
Paramount and Skydance are no doubt reading the room to ensure that “M:I7” and “M:I8” have the greatest chance of success when they ultimately arrive in theaters, hence the new premiere dates. Studios have been scrambling to get movies back on the calendar, making 2022’s schedule fairly crowded. Pushing back to 2023 and 2024 helps ensure that there will be less competition and higher chances of box office success.