Mission: Impossible (film series)

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Mission: Impossible
Blu-ray box set of the six films
Directed byBrian De Palma (1)
John Woo (2)
J. J. Abrams (3)
Brad Bird (4)
Christopher McQuarrie (5–8)
Written byChristopher McQuarrie (5–8)
Based onMission: Impossible
by Bruce Geller
Produced byTom Cruise
Paula Wagner (1–3)
J. J. Abrams (4–6)
David Ellison (5)
Christopher McQuarrie (6–8)
Starring(See below)
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
Running time
768 minutes (all films combined)
CountryUnited States
BudgetTotal (6 films):
$828 million
Box officeTotal (6 films):
$3.57 billion

Mission: Impossible is a series of American action spy films based on and a follow-on from the television series of the same name created by Bruce Geller. The series is mainly produced by and stars Tom Cruise, whose character is Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). The films have been directed, written, and scored from various filmmakers and crew, while incorporating musical themes from the original series by Lalo Schifrin.

Starting in 1996, the films (taking place starting six years after the events of the previous TV sequel series) follow the missions of the IMF's main field team under the leadership of Hunt to stop an enemy force all the while preventing an impending global disaster. The series focuses on Hunt as the lead character as opposed to the ensemble cast structure of the television series, although some characters, such as Luther Stickell (played by Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (played by Simon Pegg) have recurring roles in the films.

The series has received a positive reception from critics and audiences alike, and is the 16th-highest-grossing film series of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $3.5 billion to date,[1] and is often cited as one of the best action franchises to date. The sixth and most recent film, titled Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was released on July 27, 2018.

The seventh and eighth films are two feature-length parts of Dead Reckoning. Part One will be released in July 2023, and Part Two will be released in June 2024.

The Mission: Impossible franchise is co-produced and released by Paramount Pictures and rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association.


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Status
Mission: Impossible May 22, 1996 (1996-05-22) Brian De Palma David Koepp & Robert Towne David Koepp & Steven Zaillian Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner Released
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24) John Woo Robert Towne Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 (2006-05-05) J. J. Abrams J. J. Abrams, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 (2011-12-16) Brad Bird Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec Tom Cruise, Bryan Burk & J. J. Abrams
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31) Christopher McQuarrie Christopher McQuarrie Drew Pearce & Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, Bryan Burk, Don Granger, J. J. Abrams, Dana Goldberg & David Ellison
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27) Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, Jake Myers, J. J. Abrams & Christopher McQuarrie
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One July 14, 2023 (2023-07-14) Tom Cruise & Christopher McQuarrie Post-production
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two June 28, 2024 (2024-06-28) Filming

Mission: Impossible (1996)[edit]

Ethan Hunt is framed for the murder of his IMF team during a botched mission in Prague and accused of selling government secrets to an arms dealer known only as "Max". On the run, Ethan seeks to uncover the real traitor and clear his name.

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)[edit]

Ethan goes back in action and works with professional thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandiwe Newton). The duo go undercover to stop rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) (who is also Nyah's former lover) from stealing a deadly virus, starting a pandemic, and selling the antidote to the highest bidder.

Mission: Impossible III (2006)[edit]

Ethan is engaged to Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), who is unaware of his true job. He assembles a team to face the elusive arms and information broker Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who intends to sell a mysterious dangerous object known as "The Rabbit's Foot".

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)[edit]

Ethan and the entire IMF are framed for the bombing of the Kremlin while investigating an individual known only as "Cobalt" (Michael Nyqvist). He and three other agents are left to stop him from starting a global nuclear war.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)[edit]

Ethan Hunt comes under threat from the Syndicate. Faced with the IMF's disbandment, Hunt assembles his team for their mission to prove the Syndicate's existence and bring the organization down by any means necessary.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)[edit]

When an IMF mission to recover plutonium goes wrong, the world is faced with the threat of the Apostles, a terrorist group formed by former members of the rogue nation called the Syndicate. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill the original mission, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (2023–2024)[edit]

Part One (2023)[edit]

In January 2019, it was announced that both a seventh and an eighth Mission: Impossible were in development, with Christopher McQuarrie set to return as both writer and director of both films. Reportedly filmed back-to-back,[2][3] the seventh film was originally scheduled for release on July 23, 2021,[4] before being delayed to November 19, 2021,[5] May 27, 2022,[6] September 30, 2022,[7] and July 14, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September 2019, McQuarrie announced via his Instagram account that Hayley Atwell had joined the cast for both films, which was later confirmed by the actress.[8] Two months later, the director also revealed the involvement of Pom Klementieff[9] and in late December Shea Whigham was confirmed as a cast member for the two upcoming movies.[10] In January 2020, McQuarrie further announced that Nicholas Hoult had also joined the cast and Simon Pegg confirmed his return as Benji later the same month.[11][12]

In February 2020, McQuarrie announced that Henry Czerny would reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film, whilst Vanessa Kirby confirmed her return as Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow.[13][14] Due to scheduling conflicts, Hoult was replaced by Esai Morales for both films.[15] Similarly, Angela Bassett was originally going to appear in the film, but was later removed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.[16][17]

Part Two (2024)[edit]

An eighth Mission: Impossible film was announced to be in development in January 2019, set to be written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie and filmed back-to-back with the seventh film.[2][3] It was scheduled to be released on August 5, 2022, but was later delayed to November 4, 2022, and then to July 7, 2023, then to June 28, 2024, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4][5]

Hayley Atwell joined the cast in September 2019,[8] followed by Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham.[9][10] In January 2020, Nicholas Hoult and Simon Pegg were also announced to be appearing in the film,[11][12] but Hoult was later replaced by Esai Morales in both films due to scheduling conflicts.[15]

In February 2020, it was announced that Henry Czerny and Vanessa Kirby would return as Eugene Kittridge and the Alanna Mitsopolis, respectively.[13][14] In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that the film will no longer be filmed back-to-back with the seventh film.[18] Filming began shortly after production wrapped on the seventh film.[19] It was announced that both the 7th and 8th films will be a send-off for Ethan Hunt.[20]

Cast and crew[edit]


List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the Mission Impossible film series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  C indicates a cameo role.
Character Films
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible 2 Mission: Impossible III Mission: Impossible
– Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible
– Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible
– Fallout
Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning
Part One Part Two
1996 2000 2006 2011 2015 2018 2023 2024
Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames Ving RhamesC Ving Rhames
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny Henry Czerny
Max Mitsopolis Vanessa Redgrave Vanessa Redgrave
The Contact Andreas Wisniewski Andreas WisniewskiC
Benji Dunn Simon Pegg
Julia Meade Michelle Monaghan Michelle MonaghanC Michelle Monaghan
William Brandt Jeremy Renner
Ilsa Faust Rebecca Ferguson
Solomon Lane Sean Harris
Alan Hunley Alec Baldwin
Alanna Mitsopolis
The White Widow
Vanessa Kirby
Grace Hayley Atwell
The Antagonist Esai Morales


Crew Film
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible 2 Mission: Impossible III Mission: Impossible
– Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible
– Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible
– Fallout
Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning
Part One Part Two
1996 2000 2006 2011 2015 2018 2023 2024
Executive producer(s) Paul Hitchcock Terence Chang
Paul Hitchcock
Stratton Leopold Jeffrey Chernov
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Paul Schwake
Jake Myers David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
Tommy Gormley
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
Chris Brock
Composer Danny Elfman Hans Zimmer Michael Giacchino Joe Kraemer Lorne Balfe
Editor(s) Paul Hirsch Christian Wagner
Steven Kemper
Maryann Brandon
Mary Jo Markey
Paul Hirsch Eddie Hamilton
Cinematographer Stephen H. Burum Jeffrey L. Kimball Dan Mindel Robert Elswit Rob Hardy Fraser Taggart


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release Date Budget Box Office Gross All Time Ranking References
Domestic International Worldwide Domestic Worldwide
Mission: Impossible May 22, 1996 $80 million $180,981,856 $276,714,503 $457,696,359 254 244 [21]
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,216 $546,388,105 180 181 [22]
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $263,820,211 $397,850,012 453 298 [23]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 191 121 [24]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,671,890 $682,714,267 220 123 [25]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $570,956,000 $791,115,104 163 88 [26]
Total $828 million $1,155,020,930 $2,415,456,297 $3,570,477,227 [27]

Critical and public response[edit]

The Mission Impossible film series has received generally positive reviews, with the later three being acclaimed. Praise has been directed towards its cinematography, action sequences, stunts, musical score, and acting.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[28]
Mission: Impossible 66% (62 reviews)[29] 59 (29 reviews)[30] B+
Mission: Impossible 2 57% (154 reviews)[31] 59 (40 reviews)[32] B
Mission: Impossible III 71% (224 reviews)[33] 66 (42 reviews)[34] A−
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (251 reviews)[35] 73 (47 reviews)[36] A−
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 94% (326 reviews)[37] 75 (46 reviews)[38] A−
Mission: Impossible – Fallout 97% (437 reviews)[39] 86 (60 reviews)[40] A


Change to theme music[edit]

The television version is in a rarely used 5
(an unusual time signature with five crotchets to a bar) and is difficult to dance to,[41] as was proven by a memorable segment of American Bandstand in which teenage dancers were caught off-guard by Dick Clark's playing of the Lalo Schifrin single release.

The opening theme music for the first six films are stylized renditions of Schifrin's original iconic theme, preserving the 5
rhythm, by Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Joe Kraemer and Lorne Balfe, respectively. Most of the versions included in the score also retained the 5
time signature.[41]

However, for Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.'s version featured on the first film's motion picture soundtrack, the time signature was changed to standard pop 4
to make it more dance-friendly, although the intro is still in 5
time.[41] The Limp Bizkit song "Take a Look Around" from the soundtrack to the second film was set to a similar 4
modification of the theme, with an interlude in 5
.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Mission Impossible Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Orange, B. Alan (January 14, 2019). "Next 2 Mission: Impossible Sequels Will Shoot Back-To-Back with Fallout Director". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Williams, Trey (January 14, 2019). "'Fallout' Director Christopher McQuarrie to Write, Direct Next 2 'Mission: Impossible' Films". TheWrap. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  4. ^ a b McNary, Dave (February 1, 2019). "Tom Cruise 'Mission: Impossible' Movies Dated for Summers of 2021, 2022". Variety. Archived from the original on July 29, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (April 24, 2020). "'Mission: Impossible' Sequels Get Pushed Back". Variety. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  6. ^ Moreau, Jordan (April 9, 2021). "'Top Gun: Maverick,' 'Mission: Impossible 7' Among Latest Paramount Delays". Variety. Archived from the original on April 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  7. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Tartaglione, Nancy (September 1, 2021). "'Top Gun: Maverick' Flies From Thanksgiving To Memorial Day Weekend; 'Mission: Impossible 7' Ignites In Fall 2022". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (September 6, 2019). "Hayley Atwell Joins Tom Cruise in Next 'Mission: Impossible' Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 7, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (November 19, 2019). "Next 'Mission: Impossible' Movies Cast 'Guardians' Star Pom Klementieff". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 20, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (December 20, 2019). "Next 'Mission: Impossible' Movies Cast Shea Whigham". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (January 9, 2020). "Nicholas Hoult Joins Tom Cruise in Next 'Mission: Impossible'". Variety. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "It Sure Sounds Like Simon Pegg Announced He's Back For 'Mission: Impossible 7'". Collider. January 18, 2020. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Classic 'Mission: Impossible' Character Returning for Sequels". The Hollywood Reporter. February 2020. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Vanessa Kirby shares her powerful thoughts on self-doubt, quietening her self-critic and learning the art of self-forgiveness". Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  15. ^ a b McNary, Dave; Kroll, Justin (May 21, 2020). "'Mission: Impossible 7': Esai Morales Replaces Nicholas Hoult as Villain". Variety. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  16. ^ Hermanns, Grant (November 10, 2020). "Exclusive: Angela Bassett Confirms Return for More Mission: Impossible". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Weintraub, Steve (July 15, 2021). "Angela Bassett and Carla Gugino on 'Gunpowder Milkshake' and Working with a Mostly Female Cast". Collider. Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  18. ^ Grater, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Mission: Impossible 7' & '8' No Longer Shooting Back-To-Back". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Overhultz, Lauryn (November 27, 2021). "Tom Cruise spotted dangling from airplane wing while filming 'Mission: Impossible 8'". Fox News. Archived from the original on November 27, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  20. ^ Brent Lang; Matt Donnelly (February 8, 2022). "'Mission: Impossible 7': How COVID-19 Blew up the Budget of Tom Cruise's Spy Sequel". Variety. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  21. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Box Office Mojo.
  22. ^ "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
  23. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  24. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)". Box Office Mojo.
  25. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  26. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)". Box Office Mojo.
  27. ^ "Mission: Impossible Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 25, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  28. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  29. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  30. ^ "Mission: Impossible Reviews". Metacritic.
  31. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  32. ^ "Mission: Impossible II Reviews". Metacritic.
  33. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  34. ^ "Mission: Impossible III Reviews". Metacritic.
  35. ^ "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  36. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Reviews". Metacritic.
  37. ^ "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  38. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Reviews". Metacritic.
  39. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  40. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout Reviews". Metacritic.
  41. ^ a b c They Shot, He Scored by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

External links[edit]