Mission: Impossible (film series)

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Mission: Impossible
Blu-ray box set of the six films
Directed by
Produced by
Based onMission: Impossible created by Bruce Geller
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
Running time
769 minutes
CountryUnited States
BudgetTotal (6 films):
$828 million
Box officeTotal (6 films):
$3.570 billion

Mission: Impossible is a series of American action spy films both based on and a follow-on from the television series of the same name created by Bruce Geller. The series is co-produced by and stars Tom Cruise, whose character is Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). The original music for the movies has been written by Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Joe Kraemer, and Lorne Balfe.

Beginning 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, who is forced to take over after the team is betrayed from within during the first film. 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 is the 16th-highest-grossing film series of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $3.5 billion to date.[1] The sixth and most recent film, titled Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was released in July 2018, and was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

All of the Mission: Impossible films are released by Paramount Pictures and rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.


Film U.S. Director Screenplay by Story by Producer(s)
Mission: Impossible May 22, 1996 (1996-05-22) Brian De Palma David Koepp and Robert Towne David Koepp and Steven Zaillian Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24) John Woo Robert Towne Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 (2006-05-05) J. J. Abrams J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 (2011-12-16) Brad Bird Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31) Christopher McQuarrie Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27) Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Mission: Impossible 7 November 19, 2021 (2021-11-19) Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Untitled eighth film November 4, 2022 (2022-11-04) Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger and Jake Myers

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 (Thandie Newton) as they go undercover to stop rogue IMF agent, and Nyah's former lover, Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) from stealing a deadly virus to start a pandemic and sell the antidote to the highest bidder.

Mission: Impossible III (2006)[edit]

Ethan, retired from being an IMF team leader and engaged to be married, 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 blamed 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 ends badly, the world is faced with the threat of the Apostles, a terrorist organization formed by former members of the Syndicate. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill the original mission, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.


In January 2019, it was announced that both a seventh and an eighth Mission: Impossible are in development with Christopher McQuarrie set to return as well. The projects will reportedly be filmed back-to-back, and are scheduled for July 23, 2021 and August 5, 2022 release, respectively.[2][3] In September 2019, McQuarrie announced on his Instagram account that Hayley Atwell had joined the cast for the seventh film and eighth film, later also confirmed by Atwell herself. In November, McQuarrie also announced that Pom Klementieff had joined the cast.[4] In late December Shea Whigham was confirmed for both upcoming movies.[5] In January 2020, McQuarrie announced that Nicholas Hoult had also joined the cast while Simon Pegg later confirmed his return as Benji that same month.[6][7] In February 2020, McQuarrie announced that Henry Czerny will reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film with Vanessa Kirby later that month confirming her return as Alanna/White Widow.[8][9] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the films were rescheduled to November 19, 2021 and November 4, 2022 respectively.[10]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Film
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible 2 Mission: Impossible III Mission: Impossible –
Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible –
Mission: Impossible 7 Eighth film
Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny Mentioned Henry Czerny
Benji Dunn Simon Pegg
Julia Meade Michelle Monaghan Mentioned Michelle Monaghan TBA
William Brandt Jeremy Renner
Ilsa Faust Rebecca Ferguson
Alan Hunley Alec Baldwin TBA
Solomon Lane Sean Harris TBA
Alanna Mitsopolis
White Widow
Vanessa Kirby
August Walker
John Lark
Henry Cavill TBA
TBA Hayley Atwell
Shea Whigham
Pom Klementieff TBA
Esai Morales
Jim Phelps Jon Voight
Claire Phelps Emmanuelle Béart
Franz Krieger Jean Reno
Sarah Davies Kristin Scott Thomas
Max Mitsopolis Vanessa Redgrave
Sean Ambrose Dougray Scott
Nyah Nordoff-Hall Thandie Newton
Mission Commander
Anthony Hopkins
Hugh Stamp Richard Roxburgh
Billy Baird John Polson
John C. McCloy Brendan Gleeson
Dr. Nekhorvich Rade Šerbedžija
Owen Davian Philip Seymour Hoffman
John Musgrave Billy Crudup
Declan Gormley Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Lindsey Farris Keri Russell
Zhen Lei Maggie Q
Theodore Brassel Laurence Fishburne
Jane Carter Paula Patton
Kurt Hendricks Michael Nyqvist
Atlee Simon McBurney
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tom Hollander
Erica Sloane Angela Bassett


Crew Film
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible 2
Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Mission: Impossible 7
Mission: Impossible 8
Executive Producer Paul Hitchcock Terence Chang and Paul Hitchcock Stratton Leopold Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Paul Schwake Jake Myers David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger N/A
Composer Danny Elfman Hans Zimmer Michael Giacchino Joe Kraemer Lorne Balfe
Editor Paul Hirsch Christian Wagner and Steven Kemper Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey Paul Hirsch Eddie Hamilton
Cinematographer Stephen H. Burum Jeffrey L. Kimball Dan Mindel Robert Elswit Rob Hardy Fraser Taggart
Production companies Cruise/Wagner Productions Skydance Productions
TC Productions
Bad Robot Productions
Skydance Media
TC Productions
Distributor Paramount Pictures


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 [11]
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,216 $546,388,105 180 181 [12]
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $263,820,211 $397,850,012 453 298 [13]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 191 121 [14]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,671,890 $682,714,267 220 123 [15]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $570,956,000 $791,115,104 163 88 [16]
Total $828 million $1,155,020,930 $2,415,456,297 $3,570,477,227 [17]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Mission: Impossible 64% (58 reviews)[18] 59 (29 reviews)[19] B+[20]
Mission: Impossible 2 57% (150 reviews)[21] 59 (40 reviews)[22] B[20]
Mission: Impossible III 71% (224 reviews)[23] 66 (42 reviews)[24] A−[20]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (246 reviews)[25] 73 (47 reviews)[26] A−[20]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 93% (316 reviews)[27] 75 (46 reviews)[28] A−[20]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout 97% (417 reviews)[29] 86 (60 reviews)[30] A[20]


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,[31] 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.[31]

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.[31] 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. ^ McNary, Dave (February 1, 2019). "Tom Cruise 'Mission: Impossible' Movies Dated for Summers of 2021, 2022". Variety. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Cruise, Tom (January 14, 2019). "Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 pic.twitter.com/V6SNvZx2La".
  4. ^ "Christopher McQuarrie on Instagram: "@pom.klementieff, how do you say femme fatale in French? #MI78"". Instagram. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Christopher McQuarrie on Twitter: "You won't see him coming... #MI78"". Twitter. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "Christopher McQuarrie on Instagram: "Say, @nicholashoult, care to raise a little hell?"". Instagram. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Gemmill, Allie (January 18, 2020). "It Sure Sounds Like Simon Pegg Announced He's Back for 'Mission: Impossible 7'". Collider. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  8. ^ "Christopher McQuarrie on Twitter: "There is no escaping the past... #MI7MI8"". Twitter. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Dela Paz, Maggie (February 7, 2020). "Vanessa Kirby Returning for Mission: Impossible Sequels". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  10. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (April 24, 2020). "'Mission: Impossible' Sequels Get Pushed Back". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  11. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Box Office Mojo.
  12. ^ "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
  13. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  14. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)". Box Office Mojo.
  15. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  16. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Box Office Mojo.
  17. ^ "Mission: Impossible Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 25, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  19. ^ "Mission: Impossible Reviews". Metacritic.
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  21. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  22. ^ "Mission: Impossible II Reviews". Metacritic.
  23. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  24. ^ "Mission: Impossible III Reviews". Metacritic.
  25. ^ "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  26. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Reviews". Metacritic.
  27. ^ "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  28. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Reviews". Metacritic.
  29. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  30. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout Reviews". Metacritic.
  31. ^ a b c They Shot, He Scored by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

External links[edit]