‘Mission: Impossible 6’: Where Does the Project Stand Now?

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation | Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible 6 may not be hitting theaters quite as soon as we expected. Paramount Pictures has reportedly halted pre-production on the next installment of the iconic action franchise, due to a salary dispute with star Tom Cruise.

According to Deadline, writer and director Christopher McQuarrie (who helped reinvigorate the franchise with last year’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation) had already worked out the movie’s basic storyline alongside Cruise, and was set to start writing the script next. The studio had also hired about 20 people to start prep work and begin designs on visual effects in London. But the entire group has reportedly been ordered to stop working, as Paramount continues salary negotiations with Cruise.

So what exactly is the hold-up? There’s been some confusion over the exact cause of the dispute. According to Deadline, one possibility is that the studio is looking for Cruise and producers, including J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions, to trim their fees on Mission: Impossible 6. Another is that Cruise is asking for a raise — specifically, an increase in his percentage of the movie’s backend profit, in order to match what he’s making on Universal’s The Mummy reboot.

The studio has yet to comment on the matter, so it remains unclear which of the scenarios is currently playing out. However, The Hollywood Reporter also cites sources that suggest Cruise’s requested pay raise is a point of contention, as Paramount wants to keep his salary at or close to what it paid him for the last Mission: Impossible flick.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation | Paramount Pictures

While production may be halted for now, fans don’t have to worry too much about the movie’s future status at the studio. Though it may take some more negotiation, Paramount will definitely move forward with the project — especially since, as fans know, all of the past movies in the Mission: Impossible franchise have gone on to become commercial hits. However, for now, the studio is focusing its attention on working out a deal to lock down Cruise.

The temporary hold-up likely won’t have too much of an impact on the film’s release. As Deadline points out, Cruise is currently busy shooting The Mummy in London, so production isn’t formally set to begin until January anyway. Once Cruise has officially closed his deal, the prep work will resume as initially expected.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III

Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible III | Paramount Pictures

This is actually the second obstacle that Mission: Impossible 6 has encountered over the course of the last few months. Earlier this summer, there were reportedly some problems with the script that also threatened to derail the project. The matter was eventually resolved, but it forced the studio to push the start date of production back several months, from November 2016 to early 2017.

Paramount was initially looking to launch Mission: Impossible 6 sometime late next year, but the studio has yet to announce an official premiere date for the film.

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