Mission: Impossible (film series)

Mission: Impossible is a series of American action spy films, based on the 1966 TV series created by Bruce Geller. The series is mainly produced by and stars Tom Cruise, who plays Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). The films have been directed, written, and scored by various filmmakers and crew, while incorporating musical themes from the original series by Lalo Schifrin.

Mission: Impossible
Official film series logo
Based onMission: Impossible
by Bruce Geller
Produced by
StarringTom Cruise
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
Running time
931 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.12 billion
(7 films)
Box office$4.13 billion
(7 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 Hunt's leadership, to stop an enemy force and prevent an impending global disaster. The series focuses on Hunt's character, and like the television series' structure, is complemented by an ensemble cast, such as Luther Stickell (played by Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (played by Simon Pegg), who have recurring roles.

The series has been positively received from critics and audiences. It is the 17th-highest-grossing film series of all time, earning over $4.09 billion worldwide,[1] and is often cited as one of the best action franchises to date. The sixth film, titled Fallout, was released on July 27, 2018 and is currently the series' highest-grossing entry. The seventh and eighth films are two feature-length parts titled Dead Reckoning; Part One was released in July 2023 and Part Two is scheduled to be released in June 2024. The films are co-produced and released by Paramount Pictures.

Films Edit

Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter(s) Story by Producers Status
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 Released
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24) John Woo Robert Towne Brannon Braga and 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
and Christopher McQuarrie[a]
Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk
Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation
July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31) Christopher McQuarrie Christopher McQuarrie Drew Pearce
and Christopher McQuarrie
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
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part One
July 12, 2023 (2023-07-12) Christopher McQuarrie & Erik Jendresen Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part Two
June 28, 2024 (2024-06-28) Post-Production [b]

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). Ethan and three other agents are left to stop Cobalt 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 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

An AI known as "the Entity" is responsible for the sinking of the next-generation Russian submarine Sevastopol. The Entity has since gone rogue and entrenched itself into cyberspace; the secret to stopping or controlling it lies with the key which Ethan Hunt and the IMF must track down, as various world powers and nefarious forces race to obtain the key in order to use the Entity for their own purpose.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024) Edit

In January 2019, an eighth Mission: Impossible film was announced to be in development, 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 delayed to November 4, 2022, 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,[6] followed by Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham.[7][8] In January 2020, Nicholas Hoult and Simon Pegg were announced to be appearing in the film,[9][10] but Hoult was later replaced by Esai Morales in both films due to scheduling conflicts.[11]

In February 2020, it was announced that Henry Czerny and Vanessa Kirby would return as Eugene Kittridge and Alanna Mitsopolis, respectively.[12][13] In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that Part Two would no longer be filmed back-to-back with Part One.[14] Filming of Part Two began shortly after production wrapped on Part One.[15] It was initially billed that both films would be a send-off for Ethan Hunt.[16]

Future Edit

In June 2023, Christopher McQuarrie stated that Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Part Two would not end the series, as there are developments for future installments.[17] In July 2023, during promotion for Part One, Cruise expressed interest in continuing to make further films in the series as Ethan Hunt, despite both films having previously been billed as a send-off to the character.[18] Inspired by Harrison Ford's continued success in the Indiana Jones films, Cruise stated that he would like to keep making Mission: Impossible films until he is likewise in his eighties.[19]

Recurring cast and characters Edit

List indicator(s)

This section includes 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.
  •  P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs.
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible 2 Mission: Impossible III Mission: Impossible –
Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible –
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part Two
Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames Ving RhamesC Ving Rhames
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny Henry Czerny
William Donloe Rolf Saxon Rolf Saxon
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
Zola Mitsopolis Frederick Schmidt
Erika Sloane Angela Bassett Angela BassettP
Grace Hayley Atwell
Jasper Briggs Shea Whigham
Degas Greg Tarzan Davis
Gabriel Esai Morales
Paris Pom Klementieff
Head of the NSA Mark Gatiss
Head of the NRO Charles Parnell

Additional crew and production details Edit

Film Crew/Detail
Composer Cinematographer Editor(s) Production
Running time
Mission: Impossible Danny Elfman Stephen H. Burum Paul Hirsch Paramount Pictures,
Cruise/Wagner Productions
Paramount Pictures 1 hr 50 mins
Mission: Impossible 2 Hans Zimmer Jeffrey L. Kimball Christian Wagner & Steven Kemper Paramount Pictures,
Cruise/Wagner Productions,
Munich Film Partners & Company
2 hrs 4 mins
Mission: Impossible III Michael Giacchino Dan Mindel Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey Paramount Pictures,
Cruise/Wagner Productions,
The Fourth Production Company Film Group
2 hrs 6 mins
Mission: Impossible –
Ghost Protocol
Robert Elswit Paul Hirsch Paramount Pictures,
Skydance Media,
TC Productions,
Bad Robot Productions
2 hrs 12 mins
Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation
Joe Kraemer Eddie Hamilton 2 hrs 11 mins
Mission: Impossible –
Lorne Balfe Rob Hardy 2 hrs 27 mins
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part One
Fraser Taggart Paramount Pictures,
Skydance Media,
TC Productions
2 hrs 43 mins
Mission: Impossible –
Dead Reckoning Part Two
[to be determined]

Reception Edit

Box-office performance Edit

Film U.S. release date Budget Box Office Gross References
Domestic International Worldwide
Mission: Impossible May 22, 1996 $80 million $180,981,856 $276,714,535 $457,696,391 [20]
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,219 $546,388,108 [21]
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $264,449,696 $398,479,497 [22]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 [23]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,674,259 $682,716,636 [24]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $571,498,294 $791,657,398 [25]
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One July 12, 2023 $221 million $172,135,383 $395,400,000 $567,535,383 [26]
Total $1.119 billion $1,327,156,313 $2,812,030,480 $4,139,186,793 [27]

Critical and public response Edit

The Mission: Impossible film series has received positive reviews from critics and audiences, with the latter five attracting significant praise directed towards their direction, cinematography, stunts, action sequences, performances, and musical scores.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[28]
Mission: Impossible 66% (65 reviews)[29] 59 (29 reviews)[30] B+
Mission: Impossible 2 56% (155 reviews)[31] 59 (40 reviews)[32] B
Mission: Impossible III 71% (225 reviews)[33] 66 (42 reviews)[34] A−
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (254 reviews)[35] 73 (47 reviews)[36] A−
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 94% (327 reviews)[37] 75 (46 reviews)[38] A−
Mission: Impossible – Fallout 97% (442 reviews)[39] 86 (60 reviews)[40] A
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One 96% (410 reviews)[41] 81 (66 reviews)[42] A

Music Edit

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,[43] 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.[43]

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.[43] 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]

Notes Edit

  1. ^ McQuarrie was only credited on certain promotional materials for the film.
  2. ^ Photography has been placed on hold, as has been done on most film productions, due to the ongoing 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Mission Impossible Movies". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  2. ^ 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. ^ 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. ^ 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. ^ 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. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Classic 'Mission: Impossible' Character Returning for Sequels". The Hollywood Reporter. February 2020. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ Grater, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Mission: Impossible 7' & '8' No Longer Shooting Back-To-Back". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Russell, Bradley (June 19, 2023). "Mission: Impossible won't end with Dead Reckoning, according to the director". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on June 20, 2023. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  18. ^ Mitchell, Thomas (July 3, 2023). "'Oppenheimer then Barbie': Tom Cruise picks side in box office battle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  19. ^ Tinoco, Armando (June 5, 2023). "Tom Cruise Wants To Continue Making 'Mission: Impossible' Movies Into His 80s Like Harrison Ford With 'Indiana Jones'". Deadline. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  20. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Box Office Mojo.
  21. ^ "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
  22. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  23. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)". Box Office Mojo.
  24. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  25. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)". Box Office Mojo.
  26. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)". 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 July 13, 2023.
  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. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  42. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Reviews". Metacritic.
  43. ^ a b c They Shot, He Scored[dead link] by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

External links Edit