‘Mission: Impossible 7’: Esai Morales Replaces Nicholas Hoult as Villain

Esai Morales4th Annual Patron of the Artists Awards, Arrivals, Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Los Angeles, USA - 07 Nov 2019
Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Shutterst

Esai Morales will replace Nicholas Hoult as the villain in Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible 7,” Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media have confirmed.

Hoult, whose exact role in the film was unknown, had to depart due to scheduling concerns. “Mission: Impossible” closed down production in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though it’s unclear when filming will be able to resume, the delay will put Hoult in conflict with a prior obligation, shooting Hulu’s second season of “The Great.” This kind of overlap is likely to affect more productions as Hollywood waits to reopen.

Cruise is reprising his role as the seemingly indestructible globe-trotting secret agent Ethan Hunt in the seventh and eighth follow-ups. Christopher McQuarrie will write and direct both, which will be shot back-to-back.

Paramout recently pushed back the release date of the seventh installment, which will now debut Nov. 19, 2021. The eighth entry has also been delayed and will hit the big screen on Nov. 4, 2022.

Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby are all returning for “Mission: Impossible 7,” a Skydance Media production. Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham have joined the cast.

Morales is best known for “La Bamba” and his roles as Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Camino del Rio in the Netflix original series “Ozark.” His recent credits include “Titans,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “How To Get Away With Murder.”

He’s repped by Innovative, LINK, Vault Entertainment and attorney Eric Feig The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.