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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). Τhe original music for the movies has been written by Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Joe Kraemer, and Lorne Balfe.

Mission: Impossible
Blu-ray box set of the six films
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

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 movies are released by Paramount Pictures and rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.


Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter(s) 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 Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and J. J. Abrams
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 Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger
Mission: Impossible -
July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27) Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Untitled seventh film July 23, 2021 (2021-07-23) Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Untitled eighth film August 5, 2022 (2022-08-05)

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 sends international thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton) 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 organisation 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.


Official teaser logo, as released by Tom Cruise upon the announcement of the back-to-back production for Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8

In January 2019, it was announced that both a seventh and an eighth Mission: Impossible are in development with Christopher McQuarrie returning to write and direct both films, with Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson 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][4] In September 2019, McQuarrie announced on his Instagram account that Hayley Atwell has joined the cast for the seventh film and eighth film the latter also confirmed by Atwell herself.[5][6][7] That same month, Jeff Sneider reported a rumor that the studio is eyeing Bradley Cooper as the main antagonist for both films.[8]

Cast and charactersEdit

Character Film
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible 2
Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible –
Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible –

Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames Ving Rhames
(uncredited cameo)
Ving Rhames
Benji Dunn Simon Pegg
Jim Phelps Jon Voight
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny
Claire Phelps Emmanuelle Béart
Franz Krieger Jean Reno
Sarah Davies Kristin Scott Thomas
Max Vanessa Redgrave
Sean Ambrose Dougray Scott
Nyah Nordoff-Hall Thandie Newton
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
Julia Meade Michelle Monaghan Michelle Monaghan
(uncredited cameo)
Michelle Monaghan
William Brandt Jeremy Renner
Jane Carter Paula Patton
Kurt Hendricks Michael Nyqvist
Ilsa Faust Rebecca Ferguson
Solomon Lane Sean Harris
Alan Hunley Alec Baldwin
August Walker / John Lark Henry Cavill
Erica Sloane Angela Bassett
Alanna Mitsopolis
White Widow
Vanessa Kirby

Additional crew and production detailsEdit


Box office performanceEdit

Film Release Date Budget Box Office Gross All Time Ranking References
Domestic Foreign Worldwide Domestic Worldwide
Mission: Impossible May 22, 1996 $80 million $180,981,856 $276,714,503 $457,696,359 253 243 [9]
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,216 $546,388,105 180 180 [10]
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $263,820,211 $397,850,012 453 297 [11]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 191 121 [12]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,671,890 $682,714,267 219 123 [13]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $570,956,000 $791,115,104 163 88 [14]
Total $828 million $1,155,020,930 $2,415,456,297 $3,570,477,227 [15]

Critical and public responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Mission: Impossible 63% (57 reviews)[16] 59 (29 critics)[17] B+[18]
Mission: Impossible 2 57% (148 reviews)[19] 59 (40 critics)[20] B[18]
Mission: Impossible III 70% (221 reviews)[21] 66 (42 critics)[22] A−[18]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (242 reviews)[23] 73 (47 critics)[24] A−[18]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 93% (310 reviews)[25] 75 (46 critics)[26] A−[18]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout 97% (411 reviews)[27] 86 (60 critics)[28] A[18]


Some, especially the actors from television series, were upset that Jim Phelps, the team leader in the series, became a traitor in the first film, selling the details of government agents to an arms dealer. Additionally, none of the actors from the television series were asked to appear in the original film. Actor Greg Morris, who portrayed Barney Collier in the original television series, is quoted as saying that he walked out of the movie – "I left early."[29] Martin Landau, who portrayed Rollin Hand in the original television series, was equally negative concerning the films. In an October 2009 interview, Landau stated: "When they were working on an early incarnation of the first one – not the script they ultimately did – they wanted the entire team to be destroyed, done away with one at a time, and I was against that", he said. "It was basically an action-adventure movie and not 'Mission.' 'Mission' was a mind game. The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there. So the whole texture changed. Why volunteer to essentially have our characters commit suicide? I passed on it... The script wasn't that good either!"[30]

Change to theme musicEdit

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
(four quarter-notes to a measure) time 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


  1. ^ "Mission Impossible Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. 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. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Cruise, Tom (January 14, 2019). "Summer 2021 and Summer".
  5. ^ Couch, Aaron; Kit, Borys (September 6, 2019). "Hayley Atwell Joins Tom Cruise in Next 'Mission: Impossible' Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ Will Bradley Cooper Play the Villain in Mission: Impossible 7?! - Rumor Mill
  9. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Box Office Mojo.
  10. ^ "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
  11. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  12. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)". Box Office Mojo.
  13. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  14. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Box Office Mojo.
  15. ^ "Mission: Impossible Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo.
  16. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  17. ^ "Mission: Impossible Reviews". Metacritic.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Home - Cinemascore".
  19. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  20. ^ "Mission: Impossible II Reviews". Metacritic.
  21. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  22. ^ "Mission: Impossible III Reviews". Metacritic.
  23. ^ "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  24. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Reviews". Metacritic.
  25. ^ "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  26. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Reviews". Metacritic.
  27. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  28. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout Reviews". Metacritic.
  29. ^ "'Mission: Impossible' TV stars disgruntled". CNN. May 29, 1996. Archived from the original on February 2, 1999.
  30. ^ "Landau 'not interested' in 'M:I 4' cameo". Digital Spy. October 30, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  31. ^ a b c They Shot, He Scored by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

External linksEdit