Photo: Mission Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise
Mission: Impossible 7 has been the model and test subject for how to complete a high-budget film during the full height and profound effect of a worldwide pandemic. Production of the show has been halted more than seven separate times, with the film’s star, Tom Cruise, and its director, Christopher McQuarrie, both contracting the virus, COVID-19. With the film originally being pitched to release in July 2021, currently, the film has been delayed for two years with its new release window slated for July 2023. The difficulties and seemingly insurmountable challenges that the production studio, Paramount, and the film’s lead star and executive producer, Tom Cruise, have faced in attempting to create and complete this movie have been never-ending.
Despite all odds and numerous health and safety imposed government restrictions, Mission: Impossible 7, is close to reaching the end of its extended making. Although the film is close to being finished, new challenges and disagreements between Paramount and the Mission: Impossible franchise’s star have reportedly arisen. This kerfuffle, while at first glance may appear innocuous enough, its significance has resulted in the immediate involvement of lawyers. This in turn has led to a contractual dispute which may evolve into a lengthy and vast legal debate between Cruise and Paramount.
Paramount Intended to Cut Mission: Impossible 7’s Theatrical Release By Half in Order to Be Able to Stream It Early On Paramount+
After numerous delays to the filming of Mission: Impossible 7, the film’s director, Christopher McQuarrie posted on Instagram that the film needed just a few “finishing touches,” added to its production. Just after this message by the film’s director to its fans in February 2021, the film shut down due to a COVID-19 surge, for the fifth time. A couple of months after this production halt in early 2021, the at-that-time CEO of Paramount Pictures, Jim Gianopulos “informed Cruise that the film would receive a 45-day theatrical window before moving to Paramount+.” By cutting Mission: Impossible 7’s theatrical release time, the studio of Paramount was attempting to initiate a transition from in-person viewing, to boosting the content on its noticeably bare streaming platform.
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This decision to place its streaming service at the forefront of its future has also been reflected in the studio’s firing of Gianopulos and his immediate replacement with Brian Robbins. Part of the reason why Gianopulos was let go, related to his inability to persuade Cruise of the importance of the studio’s desired “45-day theatrical window,” for the new Mission: Impossible film. More accurately the reason for Gianopulos’s firing is indicative of the future plans of Paramount. The studio is said to be moving away from its production of blockbuster films and is instead aiming to develop inexpensive content for Paramount+, that can be combined into a two-pronged release that earns money from both its streaming and its theater-wide circulation.
It is understandable that Paramount would attempt to make this shift as it aligns with the circumstances of the current period of time that people are living through, but it also resulted in repercussions that the studio of Paramount was not prepared for. Those consequences stemmed from the great displeasure that the film’s star (Tom Cruise) had upon learning of the new plans that the studio had for his film.
Tom Cruise Lawyers Up to Stop The Cutting of Part of The Duration of M:I 7’s Theatrical Release
Tom Cruise, upon being notified of Paramount’s plan to cut the theatrical release of Mission: Impossible 7 by half “was said to be furious.” Without hesitation, he lawyered up and was adamant that the next installment of his hit franchise receives the full three-month theatrical release that was promised in his contractual agreement with the studio. While it is obvious why Paramount would want to cut the theatrical release of the film, it may not be the most financially beneficial decision for the studio as well as for Cruise. Cruise reasoned that if the film were to go to the streaming service after a shorter period in theaters with a set date for its at-home viewing, this would result in fewer people wanting to see the film in theaters and discourage the purchase of tickets.
Although it is known that, “Cruise is one of the last dollar-one gross players in the business, so box office receipts are key to his compensation. (He makes much more from the films than the studio does.)” This fact reveals the true reason why Cruise is dead set on the film’s uncut theater-wide release. The studio reportedly acted on the advice of Paramount COO Andrew Gumpert that it was within its rights to cut the window of M:I 7’s theatrical release, but Cruise’s contract it states that the movie “had to be handled in a manner consistent with the previous film.” While the studio tried to reason with Cruise and convince him to allow it to cut the theatrical release window, he remained unswayed. Due to this, Paramount and Tom Cruise are now in a deadlock over what form of release is best for the film as both sides feel as if they are doing what is most beneficial for their own particular interests.
With Paramount And Cruise in A Deadlock, They Agree To Continue Production on The Film, Choosing To Resolve Their Disagreements after The Film Is Completed
With neither side yet willing to compromise, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures are in an unyielding deadlock over the future release of the next Mission: Impossible film. Both sides believe that what they are doing is best for their own interests, although it could be acknowledged that Cruise is acting more in the interest of the profitability of the film, while Paramount is attempting to bolster the available and desired content on its brand new streaming service. Either way, both sides have decided to postpone their disagreement and will wait until the film is fully completed to resume their contention. Nevertheless, it might be in the studios’ best interest to keep their star happy. The Mission: Impossible franchise has raked in a whopping 3.6 billion dollars for the studio.
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Although the new film M:I 7, has reportedly cost 300 million dollars to produce, this number is admittedly dwarfed by the revenue that the last Mission: Impossible film has made “accumulating $791.6 million worldwide.” The star power and ability of Tom Cruise to bring an audience to the theaters is not something that can be argued with. He is quite possibly the most famous actor in the world and the Mission: Impossible franchise has been able to achieve a feat that none other has done before it. That is, get better with each film that is added to its ranks.
When asked how Paramount’s new CEO, Brian Robbins, is likely to fare against the wishes of Tom Cruise, a filmmaker experienced with the creation of M:I films states, “Tom says what he wants and the studio says what it wants. And then Tom gets what he asked for.” While the fate of the future release of M:I 7 still hangs in limbo, it seems unlikely that there will ever be a world where Tom Cruise isn’t able to complete a “mission,” that he commits himself to.
By Thomas Jacobs
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.