Christopher McQuarrie Closes Deal to Direct Back-to-Back ‘Mission: Impossible’ Films (EXCLUSIVE)

After delivering the biggest box office hit in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Paramount Pictures is ready to continue being in business with director Christopher McQuarrie in a big way.

Sources tell Variety that McQuarrie has signed back on to return to write and direct the next two films in the popular franchise. Sources also add that both films would be shot back-to-back — not unlike the final two “Avengers” sequels — in order to take advantage of the popularity of the series, with the first bowing summer 2021 and the second coming out in summer 2022. The release comes in 2021 to avoid conflict with Paramount and Cruise’s next big venture, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Sources add Cruises deal, as expected, is also closed and Cruise confirmed his return as IMF agent Ethan Hunt on Twitter:

McQuarrie confirmed his return to the series on Twitter.

McQuarrie had said in recent interviews he was hoping to do something different and had been meeting on a handful of projects including Paramount’s “Without Remorse” starring Michael B. Jordan as John Clark. With the latest “Mission: Impossible” film grossing over $790 million worldwide, the best haul in the franchise to date, the studio knew they couldn’t let a good thing die and quickly moved to bring back McQuarrie to write and direct the next two installments.

McQuarrie will now look to start writing the script while Cruise continues to shoot “Top Gun: Maverick.” While no start date is set yet, sources indicate the studio would intend to start shooting sometime in 2019.

After years of switching up the director to give a new feel to each installment, Cruise and Paramount have now settled on McQuarrie as the primary director for Ethan Hunt’s globetrotting adventures. The move bears similarities to when Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling tapped David Yates to stay on and finish out the “Harry Potter” series following his first stint on “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

The most recent “Mission: Impossible” installment, “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” was also the best-reviewed entry with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%.

McQuarrie is repped by CAA, manager Ken Kamins and attorney David Fox. Cruise is repped by CAA.

More Film

  • Bob Chapek

    What Disney's Theme Parks Reveal About New CEO Bob Chapek

    Theme parks and resorts aren’t likely top of mind for the industry set when they think of Disney. But in light of the recent (and very swift) appointment of parks and consumer products head Bob Chapek to succeed Bob Iger as Disney CEO, Chapek’s recent interviews at the parks offer a few insights about the [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Emerges with Strong $23 Million Opening

    Elisabeth Moss’s “The Invisible Man” is dominating North American moviegoing and should scare up about $23 million at 3,610 locations, early estimates showed Friday. The third weekend of Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” and the sophomore frame of Disney-20th Century’s “Call of the Wild” are in a race for second in the $13 million to [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    Cahiers du Cinema Still Alive, Awaiting New Editor-in-Chief

    Les Cahiers du Cinema, the iconic publication that was a driving force behind the French New Wave, is weathering an unprecedented crisis following the resignation of the majority of its staff on Thursday. Some of its journalists, however, have decided to remain on board while they await the appointment of a new editor-in-chief. Among the [...]

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe on 'Escape From Pretoria' and Why He Won't Play Harry Potter Again

    Daniel Radcliffe continues to move far away from Hogwarts with “Escape From Pretoria,” a riveting, true-life prison drama that’s gritty, grounded and wholly different from the fantasy franchise that made him a star. The indie release hits theaters on March 6 and finds Radcliffe playing Tim Jenkin, an anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned in South [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content