It will be another year before a new Mission: Impossible movie hits theatres.
Paramount Pictures and Skydance announced on Friday that the release of Mission: Impossible 7 will be pushed from September 20 to July 14, 2023. Mission: Impossible 8, previously set for a July 2023 release, will instead open on June 28, 2024.
It's the latest setback for a pair of blockbusters that have been much delayed by the pandemic. Shooting on Mission: Impossible 7 was put on hiatus in early 2020 because of Covid-19. After filming resumed in the summer of 2020, principal photography ultimately concluded by September 2021.
Paramount and Skydance attributed the postponements to pandemic-related delays.
“After thoughtful consideration, Paramount Pictures and Skydance have decided to postpone the release dates for Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 in response to delays due to the ongoing pandemic," said the film companies.
Mission: Impossible 7 wrapped up filming in September after 18 months.
The production for the film had been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, with filming, which took place at locations around the world including Italy, the UK and Abu Dhabi, having to be paused many times in the wake of new restrictions and coronavirus cases among the cast and crew.
Mission: Impossible 7 was partly filmed in the UAE, with Louvre Abu Dhabi and the capital’s desert among the locations.
Director Christopher McQuarrie praised Abu Dhabi for its hospitality after filming wrapped up in the capital in February.
Cruise, who will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in the seventh instalment of the action franchise, famously went on a huge rant at crew members during filming in London, as he believed they were not taking Covid-19 restrictions seriously.
In leaked audio footage, Cruise was heard saying: "We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing."
He later addressed the rant in an interview with Empire magazine, saying: “I said what I said.”
A surge in Covid-19 cases in the UK at the time was the trigger for his frustration, Cruise said, and that the outburst was not aimed at the whole crew but certain members of the team.
“There was a lot at stake at that point. But it wasn’t my entire crew. I had the crew leave the set and it was just select people,” he said.
– With additional reporting from the Associated Press