Cruise has been on an extended victory lap lately. Top Gun Maverick is getting rave reviews, including at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a rapturous ovation and earned an honorary Palme d’Or. Also at Cannes, Cruise dropped a movie villain-worthy one-liner when asked by a journalist why he risks his life to perform these high-octane stunts, responding “No one asked Gene Kelly, ‘Why do you dance?’” Industry stories about the power he still wields over movie studios in the form of massive box-office backends and extended theatrical release dates are circulating; he’s being called the Last Movie Star.
So Paramount picked the perfect time to release the first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, the incredibly titled seventh installment in the franchise, which is due out on July 14, 2023. The trailer gives us a glimpse of what is perhaps the movie’s most hyped stunt–Tom Cruise driving a motorcycle off of a cliff. The scene was teased at CinemaCon 2021, and reportedly took at least six takes to perfect. We don’t learn too much about the plot from this trailer, though there are several stunning shots of a character traversing the desert on horseback, a fistfight in an underground tunnel, and Cruise evading capture in a bumblebee yellow Smart Car.
Last August, footage appeared online of a train being launched off of a cliff as part of the film’s shoot in England. That scene appears during a montage towards the end of the trailer. And in classic Mission Impossible fashion, it appears that Cruise is…fighting someone…atop the train, which, along with Henry Cznery’s return, is a nice callback to the very first Mission film from way back in ‘96.
Like Top Gun, Mission Impossible has been delayed several times, due in large part to the pandemic. It was originally slated for Memorial Day 2022, eventually being moved to September and finally to its current date in July 2023. Controversy bubbled around the film when audio leaked that depicted Cruise laying into crew members for failing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
“We are the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. Because they believe in us and what we’re doing,” Cruise said in the clip. “We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherfuckers.”
It is believed within the industry that Dead Reckoning Part Two, due out in June 2024, will be Cruise’s farewell to the franchise, although it’s hard to picture the 59-year-old star voluntarily hanging up his tactical leather jacket and lifelike masks.