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.
|Directed by||Brian De Palma (1)|
John Woo (2)
J. J. Abrams (3)
Brad Bird (4)
Christopher McQuarrie (5-8)
|Written by||Christopher McQuarrie (5-8)|
|Based on||Mission: Impossible|
by Bruce Geller
|Produced by||Tom Cruise|
Paula Wagner (1-3)
J. J. Abrams (4-6)
David Ellison (5)
Christopher McQuarrie (6-8)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|768 minutes (all films combined)|
|Budget||Total (6 films):|
|Box office||Total (6 films):|
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, 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. Two upcoming films, with the titles Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, respectively, are scheduled to be released on July 14, 2023 and June 28, 2024.
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 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.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning 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, the seventh film was originally scheduled for release on July 23, 2021, before being delayed to November 19, 2021, May 27, 2022, September 30, 2022, 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. Two months later, the director also revealed the involvement of Pom Klementieff and in late December Shea Whigham was confirmed as a cast member for the two upcoming movies. 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.
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 / White Widow. Due to scheduling conflicts, Hoult was replaced by Esai Morales for both films. Similarly, Angela Bassett was originally going to appear in the film, but was later removed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning 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. 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.
Hayley Atwell joined the cast in September 2019, followed by Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham. In January 2020, Nicholas Hoult and Simon Pegg were also announced to be appearing in the film, but Hoult was later replaced by Esai Morales in both films due to scheduling conflicts.
In February 2020, it was announced that Henry Czerny and Vanessa Kirby would return as Eugene Kittridge and the White Widow, respectively. In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that the film will no longer be filmed back-to-back with the seventh film. Filming began shortly after production wrapped on the seventh film. It was announced that both the 7th and 8th films will be a send-off to Ethan Hunt.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)||Status|
|Mission: Impossible||May 22, 1996||Brian De Palma||David Koepp & Robert Towne||David Koepp & Steven Zaillian||Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner||Released|
|Mission: Impossible 2||May 24, 2000||John Woo||Robert Towne||Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore|
|Mission: Impossible III||May 5, 2006||J. J. Abrams||J. J. Abrams, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman|
|Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol||December 16, 2011||Brad Bird||André Nemec & Josh Appelbaum||Tom Cruise, Bryan Burk & J. J. Abrams|
|Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation||July 31, 2015||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||Christopher McQuarrie||Tom Cruise, Jake Myers, J. J. Abrams & Christopher McQuarrie|
|Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One||July 14, 2023||Tom Cruise & Christopher McQuarrie||Post-production|
|Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part Two||June 28, 2024||Filming|
Cast and crewEdit
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.
|Mission: Impossible 2
|Mission: Impossible III
– Ghost Protocol
– Rogue Nation
– Dead Reckoning Part One
– Dead Reckoning Part Two
|Executive producer(s)||Paul Hitchcock||Terence Chang
|Stratton Leopold||Jeffrey Chernov
|Jake Myers||David Ellison
Bradley J. Fischer
|Composer||Danny Elfman||Hans Zimmer||Michael Giacchino||Joe Kraemer||Lorne Balfe|
|Editor(s)||Paul Hirsch||Christian Wagner
Mary Jo Markey
|Paul Hirsch||Eddie Hamilton|
|Cinematographer||Stephen H. Burum||Jeffrey L. Kimball||Dan Mindel||Robert Elswit||Rob Hardy||Fraser Taggart|
Box office performanceEdit
|Film||Release Date||Budget||Box Office Gross||All Time Ranking||References|
|Mission: Impossible||May 22, 1996||$80 million||$180,981,856||$276,714,503||$457,696,359||254||244|||
|Mission: Impossible 2||May 24, 2000||$125 million||$215,409,889||$330,978,216||$546,388,105||180||181|||
|Mission: Impossible III||May 5, 2006||$150 million||$134,029,801||$263,820,211||$397,850,012||453||298|||
|Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol||December 16, 2011||$145 million||$209,397,903||$485,315,477||$694,713,380||191||121|||
|Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation||July 31, 2015||$150 million||$195,042,377||$487,671,890||$682,714,267||220||123|||
|Mission: Impossible – Fallout||July 27, 2018||$178 million||$220,159,104||$570,956,000||$791,115,104||163||88|||
Critical and public responseEdit
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.
|Mission: Impossible||66% (62 reviews)||59 (29 reviews)||B+|
|Mission: Impossible 2||57% (154 reviews)||59 (40 reviews)||B|
|Mission: Impossible III||71% (224 reviews)||66 (42 reviews)||A−|
|Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol||93% (251 reviews)||73 (47 reviews)||A−|
|Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation||94% (326 reviews)||75 (46 reviews)||A−|
|Mission: Impossible – Fallout||97% (437 reviews)||86 (60 reviews)||A|
Change to theme musicEdit
The television version is in a rarely used 5
4 time (an unusual time signature with five crotchets to a bar) and is difficult to dance to, 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
4 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
4 time signature.
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
4 time to make it more dance-friendly, although the intro is still in 5
4 time. The Limp Bizkit song "Take a Look Around" from the soundtrack to the second film was set to a similar 4
4 modification of the theme, with an interlude in 5
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- They Shot, He Scored by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.