Paramount Pictures surprised the hell out of us earlier this year by announcing back-to-back sequels for the Mission: Impossible franchise being released one year apart in the summers of 2021 and 2022. And they’ve been surpring us even more by adding a few impressive names to the cast.
The upcoming Mission: Impossible sequels cast has officially added Joker co-star and Boardwalk Empire cast member Shea Whigham to the growing ensemble cast. And yes, he’ll be in both of the sequels.
Director Christopher McQuarrie announced the Mission: Impossible sequels cast addition on Twitter:
You won’t see him coming…#MI78 pic.twitter.com/B17enQCj3x
— Christopher McQuarrie @chrismcquarrie December 20, 2019
It must be chilly in the studio where this headshot was taken, because Shea Whigham is certainly getting cozy in that coat he’s wearing. Maybe it’s a hint that we’ll be going to a frigid climate for one of the upcoming sequels, an environment that hasn’t been explored much in any of the movies so far, with the exception of the snowy mountains from the climax of Fallout. More importantly, the tweet that accompanies this photo implies that Whigham might be a new villain. Then again, it could also just be indicative of him being a good spy. Maybe it’s both?
Whigham joins a cast that has also added Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 co-star Pom Klementieff, and Captain America franchise star Hayley Atwell, the latter of which actually shared the small screen with Whigham in the Marvel spin-off series Agent Carter. They’ll also be joining returning franchise cast members Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and of course Tom Cruise in the lead role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt.
McQuarrie knows he has quite the difficult task ahead of him by justifying why they need to back-to-back sequels for whatever they plan to do this time. The filmmaker himself even admitted, almost as if he realized this while he was saying it, “You’ve got to make something that swallows the last three movies whole. I’m freaked out now. We’ve talked ourselves into something. Holy shit.”
Mission: Impossible 7 is set for release on July 23, 2021, arriving 25 years after the original movie that launched the franchise, and Mission: Impossible 8 will arrive a little over a year later on August 5, 2022
Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” franchise got its start in 1996 with “Carrie” and “Scarface” auteur Brian De Palma in the director’s chair. The spy thriller was made for $80 million and became a worldwide hit with $457 million at the global box office. The film’s success made a “Mission: Impossible” sequel a priority for Tom Cruise, but De Palma rejected his star’s plea for a follow-up movie. In a new interview with the Associated Press to promote his novel “Are Snakes Necessary?,” De Palma said he turned down Cruise by telling the actor that one “Mission: Impossible” movie was enough.
“Stories, they keep making them longer and longer only for economic reasons,” De Palma said. “After I made ‘Mission: Impossible,’ Tom asked me to start working on the next one. I said, 'Are you kidding? One of these is enough. Why would anybody want to make another one?' Of course, the reason they make another one is to make money. I was never a movie director to make money, which is the big problem of Hollywood. That's the corruption of Hollywood.”
De Palma does not get the appeal of “Mission: Impossible” sequels, but they’ve proven to be hugely lucrative for Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures. De Palma’s original spawned six sequels, with two additional “Mission: Impossible” films now in development that will bring the franchise to an eight-film total. The most recent entries, Christopher McQuarrie’s 2018 actioner “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” received universal acclaim and made $791 million worldwide, the highest grossing “Mission: Impossible” movie yet. De Palma might be against “Mission: Impossible” sequels, but he looks back fondly on his first and only entry.
“In my mid-50s doing ‘Carlito's Way’ and then ‘Mission: Impossible,’ it doesn't get much better than that,” De Palma said. “You have all the power and tools at your disposal. When you have the Hollywood system working for you, you can do some remarkable things. But as your movies become less successful, it gets harder to hold on to the power and you have to start making compromises. I don't know if you even realize you're making them. I tend to be very hard-nosed about this. If you have a couple of good decades, that's good, that's great.”
De Palma added he’s not impressed by Hollywood movies these days. “The thing that drives me crazy is the way they look,” he said. “Because they're shooting digitally they're just lit terribly. I can't stand the darkness, the bounced light. They all look the same. I believe in beauty in cinema. Susan and I were...