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Mission: Impossible 8 Release Date, Cast, Director, Stunts And More Details

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Tom Cruise first donned his Ethan Hunt persona back in 1996, when he teamed up with director Brian De Palma for "Mission: Impossible." The film was the third highest-grossing movie of the year, and it kickstarted a franchise that's still going strong to this day. Since then, we've seen Cruise climb the Burj Khalifa, hang onto the side of an airplane, skydive from 25,000 feet, and run and run and run. Ethan Hunt does a whole lot of running.

Now, Hunt is smack dab in the middle of his biggest mission yet. In fact, this mission is so impossible that the story has been split into two separate films. "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning" hit theaters on July 12, 2023, leaving us all wondering what happens next in Ethan Hunt's battle against the all-powerful entity, and the sequel is set to raise the unbelievably high stakes even higher. So when can we expect the conclusion of the "Dead Reckoning" storyline? Will any new faces join the Impossible Missions Force (IMF)? And is this Tom Cruise's last time putting on those incredibly life-life masks?

Well, your mission — if you choose to accept it — is to continue reading and learn everything you need to know about "Mission: Impossible 8." Warning: There are major spoilers below for "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning."

When will Mission: Impossible 8 be released?

It took "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning" a long, long time to hit the big screen. The action flick was originally slated for July 3, 2021, but the movie shifted its release date multiple times thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the release of "Top Gun: Maverick." Of course, Ethan Hunt finally got to drive his motorcycle off the side of a cliff on July 12, 2023. And now we're all wondering when we'll get to see the second part of the story.

Well, it seems like "Mission: Impossible 8" — which was formerly titled "Dead Reckoning Part Two" before it was decided to drop that bit – is suffering delays just like its predecessor. The movie was originally slated for June 28, 2024, but due to the now-concluded writers' strike and actors' strike, the film was shuffled back a full year. As a result, we'll see the return of Ethan Hunt and his IMF buddies on May 23, 2025. That same month will feature the release of Marvel's "Fantastic Four," although the superhero film is coming out much earlier in May, so "Mission: Impossible" won't be going head-to-head with the much-anticipated MCU flick.

What is the plot of Mission: Impossible 8?

Ethan Hunt has dealt with some pretty serious threats in the past, but none have been quite as existential as the Entity — an omnipotent AI that can corrupt top-secret intelligence and destroy the nature of truth itself. While we don't have specific details about the plot of "Mission: Impossible 8" just yet, we know it will revolve around Ethan Hunt's mission to kill the almighty program. 

The first part of said mission involves a two-part cruciform key that gives its wielder the power to control or crush the AI ... if they can reach the Entity's source code, which happens to be located in a sunken submarine. Fortunately, "Dead Reckoning" ends with Ethan Hunt in possession of the key and aware of the sub's existence. Unfortunately, it also ends with Ilsa Faust dead at the hands of Gabriel, a zealot who essentially worships the Entity.

It doesn't help matters that every major player in the world wants this key or that the Entity can predict Ethan's every move. We also wonder what's in store for Benji Dunn and the enigmatic Grace. Benji had to reveal his biggest weak spot to the Entity in order to defuse a bomb, so we wonder if that will come back to bite him. And the last we saw of Grace, she was asking IMF director Eugene Kittredge if she could join the task force — but will working directly for Kittredge put her on a collision course with Ethan?

Who is starring in Mission: Impossible 8?

Needless to say, Tom Cruise is returning as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. After all, there's no "Mission: Impossible" without Cruise and his crazy stunts. He'll be joined on the big screen by longtime IMF stalwarts Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn) and Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell), and we'll also see the return as Hayley Atwell as Grace, the thief turned IMF agent, and Henry Czerny as slimy IMF director Eugene Kittredge.

Of course, Esai Morales will also return as Gabriel, Ethan Hunt's old foe. We'll also see Pom Klementieff back as Paris, as Simon Pegg wrote on Instagram, "If you think you've seen the last of Paris... think again." It also seems likely that Shea Whigham and Greg Tarzan Davis will return as Jasper Briggs and Degas, the CIA agents chasing Ethan Hunt around the globe.

As for new faces, Holt McCallany of "Mindhunter" will play the secretary of defense. He'll be accompanied by Hannah Waddingham of "Ted Lasso," Katy O'Brian of "Love Lies Bleeding," Janet McTeer of "Ozark," and the one and only Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman. And while Angela Bassett wasn't able to portray CIA director Erika Sloane in "Dead Reckoning" due to COVID-19 considerations, ComicBookMovie.com has reported that she'll return for the eighth movie.

Plus, Rolf Saxon will mark his grand return to the franchise. Saxon played the unlucky William Donloe in the very first "Mission: Impossible" film, who's shipped off to Alaska after Ethan Hunt sneaks past him and hacks a Langley computer. On top of all that, filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie told Collider that "there are characters in the movie you don't even know about yet," so here's hoping we see the return of actors like Paula Patton, Sean Harris, and Thandiwe Newton.

Who is directing Mission: Impossible 8?

The "Mission: Impossible" movies have boasted some impressive auteurs, such as Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird. However, until "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation," each installment had been helmed by a different filmmaker. But starting with the fifth movie, directing duties have gone to Christopher McQuarrie, who also worked on "Fallout" and "Dead Reckoning."

McQuarrie and Tom Cruise evidently have great rapport. In addition to directing the star on four "Mission: Impossible" movies, McQuarrie also oversaw the actor on "Jack Reacher" and helped write movies like "Edge of Tomorrow," "Valkyrie," and "Top Gun: Maverick." Before becoming one of Cruise's big collaborators, McQuarrie was probably best known for writing "The Usual Suspects," but McQuarrie seems most proud of the work he's done on the latest two "M:I" movies.

Speaking with Collider, the filmmaker explained that the seventh and eighth "Mission: Impossible" installments "contain every movie I ever wanted to make and wasn't able to. They contain parts of everything I've ever wanted to do. It's really the first time I've really felt comfortable as a filmmaker. I felt really in my element as a filmmaker." He also explained how the next film will really delve into the terrifying nature of AI, saying, "If you think ['Dead Reckoning'] is trippy, it'll freak you out in ['Mission: Impossible 8']."

What Ethan Hunt stunts can we expect in Mission: Impossible 8?

Yes, we love the chemistry between Ethan Hunt and his IMF buddies. And yes, the fight scenes are always amazing, and the realistic face masks and double-crosses are great. But come on, the main reason we're all so wild about the "Mission: Impossible" franchise is because of the stunts, all involving Tom Cruise himself. The series has continually upped the intensity and the danger of these stunts, with the star putting himself in harm's way for our enjoyment and box office dollars.

"Dead Reckoning" definitely delivered on that front with an epic train crash and Tom Cruise driving off the slide of a cliff. But what can we expect from the next movie? Well, get ready for some impressive aerial action. Famously, Cruise appeared in a CinemaCon video to promote "Top Gun: Maverick," where he was standing atop a World War II-era biplane. As it turns out, he was on the plane in the first place to shoot a stunt for "Mission: Impossible 8." Why Ethan Hunt is standing on an old-timey plane 2,000 feet in the air, we're not sure, but we can't wait to find out.

We're also expecting some sort of underwater sequence. After all, Ethan Hunt needs to find that Russian sub if he wants to kill the Entity, and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie hinted as much to Collider, saying, "The thing about the ocean is that there's been a million action set pieces everywhere on this planet, but the ocean is one of the few places where there's not a lot of stuff. It's one of those places where you can really make a mark."

Where is Mission: Impossible 8 filming?

One of the really fun things about the "Mission: Impossible" series is how the IMF heroes to travel across the world, visiting places like Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Vienna, and London. "Mission: Impossible 8" will keep up with that globe-trotting tradition, as the movie has shot sequences in the U.K., South Africa, Malta, and off the coast of Italy aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier (reported to be the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush).

Perhaps most impressively, "Mission: Impossible 8" has filmed scenes in Svalbard, Norway, which is part of the Arctic Circle. Based on the events of the preceding film, we're assuming these moments will have to do with the sunken submarine Sevastopol and the source code of the Entity. When The Hollywood Reporter asked if she could reveal anything about the shoot, Hayley Atwell responded, "Only insomuch as nothing has ever been filmed in the Arctic for a movie of this scale. People thought that it would be impossible, and luckily, Team Mission just came in and totally invalidated that belief system."

However, filming out in the Arctic was pretty intense. Atwell elaborated a bit on the extreme conditions, saying, "The territory feels unowned in a way because it's so majestic and raw. At times, in minus 55 with a wind chill, having to get action dialogue in that takes a tremendous amount of organization and focus. So how they put that together and weave that into the story, I don't know, but it will remain the most extraordinary place I've ever been on this planet and will probably ever go."

Will there be more Mission: Impossible films in the future?

Nobody seems to love making "Mission: Impossible" movies more than Tom Cruise. Having played Ethan Hunt for nearly 30 years, Cruise continually pushes the limits of what stunts he can pull off in each new adventure, wowing audiences around the globe. Not only does he star, but Cruise also serves as a producer on every single "Mission: Impossible" film. Initial reports announcing "Dead Reckoning" reported that the seventh and eighth films were meant to be a final send-off for Cruise's most prolific character. While the actor himself has refused to comment on whether "Mission: Impossible 8" will be his final mission, others have made some statements on Cruise's behalf.

"Let me tell you, I've been working with Tom Cruise for 15 years and I cannot tell you the number of times I've been standing next to the man, witnessed an event, and then read about it in the trades the next day and none of what they describe is actually true," director Christopher McQuarrie said to the "Light the Fuse" podcast in 2022. Outside of an official confirmation from Cruise himself, everything is pure speculation. While a two-part "Mission: Impossible" epic certainly seems like a set-up to retire the Ethan Hunt character, it's not impossible that Cruise might return. Nevertheless, the partnership between Cruise and McQuarrie remains strong after the two have worked together on over 10 different features, making it fairly likely that they'll reunite in some capacity in the future.