×

“Mission: Impossible” fans will have to wait a little longer to watch Ethan Hunt save the world from imminent destruction.

Paramount Pictures will delay the release of the next two films in the long-running spy series. “Mission: Impossible 7,” which was previously supposed to premiere on Sept. 30, will now debut on July 14, 2023. That means that “Mission: Impossible 8,” most recently intended to open on July 7, 2023, will instead shift to June 28, 2024.

The seventh film, which is co-produced by Skydance, was originally slated to open on July 23, 2021 and has been postponed multiple times as the public health situation has changed. The movie’s globe-trotting production has also been delayed due to COVID-19. “Mission: Impossible” films tend to be complex to shoot as they have many stunts and effects, with the filmmaking team trying to do as little green screen work as possible. They also often jet from one foreign port of call to another (the latest films shot in Italy, the U.K. and Poland, to name just a few locations), a bit of international hopscotch that was complicated by a pandemic that knows no borders.

“After thoughtful consideration, Paramount Pictures and Skydance have decided to postpone the release dates for Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 in response to delays due to the ongoing pandemic. The new release dates will be July 14, 2023, and June 28, 2024, respectively,” the companies said in a joint statement. “We look forward to providing moviegoers with an unparalleled theatrical experience.”

The next two films in the series will once again star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, the IMF agent with nine lives and a penchant for hanging off airplanes, skyscrapers, mountains and really any high-altitude edifice or projectile that he can get his mitts on. Christopher McQuarrie, who oversaw “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” and “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” returns to direct the next two installments of the action franchise. The ensemble includes Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett.

The news of the delay comes after Skydance announced that it is moving its first-look deal from Paramount to Apple. The production company will continue to work with Paramount on the “Mission: Impossible,” “Transformers” and “Star Trek” franchises.

Cruise has another high-profile production with Paramount this year, “Top Gun: Maverick,” which opens in theaters on May 27. It was was originally scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures on July 12, 2019 before it was pushed into 2020 and beyond.