Why Mission: Impossible 6 will be better than you think

Most film franchises never make it to a sixth installment—and among those that do, most have long since seen their best days. There are exceptions to every rule, however, and six films into its blockbuster action saga, Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible series is running just as strong as ever. Mission: Impossible 6 is set to arrive in theaters on July 27, 2018, and while the franchise is bound to run out of steam eventually, we're almost certain it won't happen here. Here are just a few of the reasons M:I6 will be even better than you think.

It'll dig into Ethan Hunt's backstory

Mission: Impossible writer and director Christopher McQuarrie has said he wants the sixth movie in the franchise to serve as a character study of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise lead, Ethan Hunt. This break from the franchise formula could bring about the same sort of late-period pivot that's served the Fast and Furious movies so well, shifting into action-drama territory instead of settling for (admittedly awesome) action stunt porn.


Shifting a franchise that's gotten this far is a little like steering a cruise ship (no pun intended), but it could really work with the M:I movies, because they don't strictly rely on one storyline or series of events. Each film is different from the last, while retaining enough ingredients to remain familiar to fans who've enjoyed these movies for the last two decades.


It'll be filmed in Paris

Shooting begins April 10, 2017 in Paris, which is also a good sign this movie could be spectacular. (Of course, this is another way of saying if the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Louvre aren't involved in the stunts and story, we all lose.)


The franchise has already been to Sydney, Vienna, London and Dubai. With each of those locations, we've seen awesome stunts, plenty of rooftop views, and a sense that the Mission: Impossible franchise arbiters want the audience to know it's involved in a truly global enterprise with physical setting. Like the James Bond movies, one of the strengths of this franchise is its ability to use physical location to push the story and make it feel like time and place are as significant as the plot.


Tom Cruise is happy

Tom Cruise got paid, and it didn't always look like he would.


Production for M:I6 was placed on hold until an issue with Cruise's salary was resolved in September 2016. This delayed production until the following April, bumping an original start date that had it set to begin in November 2016. The pay dispute reportedly arose when Cruise wanted Paramount "to match or exceed" what he got from Universal for his role in The Mummy. "Script issues" pushed the start back two more months, and rumors suggested the movie was ready to "fall apart" at one point.


This is no small thing, as no one really wants to think about what a Mission: Impossible movie would look like without Cruise playing Ethan Hunt. James Bond is great and all, but there's something to be said for consistency. We don't want to speculate about why Idris Elba or Tom Hardy haven't been offered the chance to take on the lead role in the franchise—or experience the M:I version of a Bourne movie sans Matt Damon.


The cast looks terrific

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation co-star Rebecca Ferguson will reprise her role as Isla Faust in MI6, along with returning cast members Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner. This is a good sign: again, the strength of any good franchise is continuity, and that's particularly important in movies where names become synonymous with faces. Just try to imagine anyone other than Ving Rhames playing franchise staple Luther Stickell. You can't.


But it isn't all about returning faces—these long cinematic sagas need fresh blood, too, which is why we're psyched that Vanessa Kirby has joined the cast. The role she'll play is unknown, but she was excellent in her portrayal of Princess Maragret in the Netflix series The Crown.


McQuarrie has also said fans should expect other prominent characters from the 20-year franchise to return, "including people you would not expect to be back." It's anybody's guess as to which characters McQuarrie could be referring, but it's nice to know longtime fans will be rewarded for their knowledge of the Mission: Impossible universe. There's nothing like being able to shout "they brought her back?" in a crowded theater.


The stunts will be better than ever

According to McQuarrie, the hardest sell for the movie was the decision not to open with an action sequence. He's spoken about an idea for one of the series' most daring stunts yet, however.


"I came to Tom with a picture of something," McQuarrie teased. "Tom looked at it and said, 'That's awesome! I want to fall off of that!' It's like, OK, I can see it on a poster, and I can see Tom falling off of it."


Wait. Falling off of what? And how? So many questions can be offered from that sentence, but the takeaway is the same: McQuarrie is really, really excited about the stunts he's dreamed up for M:I6, and that's saying something for a guy who's imagined and executed some rather jaw-dropping set pieces. Eventually, he's bound to reach a point where Ethan and his fellow superspies have gone too far over the top to outdo, but we're betting McQuarrie has some pretty spectacular tricks up his sleeve for this sequel—and we can't wait to see them come to life on the biggest possible screen.