Mission: Impossible (film series)

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.

Mission: Impossible
Blu-ray box set of the six films
Directed byChristopher McQuarrie (Rogue Nation onwards)
Written byChristopher McQuarrie (Rogue Nation onwards)
Based onMission: Impossible
by Bruce Geller
Produced by
StarringTom Cruise (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):
$3.570 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 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 the upcoming film, with the working title Mission: Impossible 7, is scheduled to release on May 27, 2022.

All of the Mission: Impossible films are co-produced and released by Paramount Pictures (and from Ghost Protocol onwards are also co-produced by Bad Robot Productions and Skydance Media) and are 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 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 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 Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 23, 2018 (2018-07-23) Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Mission: Impossible 7 May 27, 2022 (2022-05-27) Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, J. J. Abrams and Jake Myers Filming
Mission: Impossible 8 July 7, 2023 (2023-07-07) Pre-production

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 7 (2022)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] but was later delayed to May 27, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]

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 actor.[6] Two months later, the director also revealed the involvement of Pom Klementieff[7] and in late December Shea Whigham was confirmed as a cast member for the two upcoming movies.[8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11][12] Due to scheduling conflicts, Hoult was replaced by Esai Morales for both films.[13] Similarly, Angela Bassett was originally going to appear in the film, but was later removed from the film due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.[14][15]

Mission: Impossible 8 (2023)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, 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 also announced to be appearing in the film,[9][10] but Hoult was later replaced by Esai Morales in both films due to scheduling conflicts.[13]

In February 2020, it was announced that Henry Czerny and Vanessa Kirby would return as Eugene Kittridge and the White Widow, respectively.[11][12] In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that the film will no longer be filmed back-to-back with Mission: Impossible 7.[16]

Cast and crewEdit


Character Films
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
– Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible
– Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible
– Fallout
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny Henry Czerny
Benji Dunn Simon Pegg
Julia Meade Michelle Monaghan Michelle Monaghan TBA
William Brandt Jeremy Renner
Ilsa Faust Rebecca Ferguson
Solomon Lane Sean Harris TBA
Alan Hunley Alec Baldwin
Alanna Mitsopolis
White Widow
Vanessa Kirby
Erica Sloane Angela Bassett TBA
Claire Phelps Emmanuelle Béart
Jim Phelps Jon Voight
Franz Krieger Jean Reno
Sarah Davies Kristin Scott Thomas
Jack Harmon Emilio Estevez
Max Mitsopolis Vanessa Redgrave
Nyah Nordoff-Hall Thandiwe Newton
Sean Ambrose Dougray Scott
Billy Baird John Polson
Hugh Stamp Richard Roxburgh
John C. McCloy Brendan Gleeson
Dr. Nekhorvich Rade Šerbedžija
Mission Commander
Anthony Hopkins
Owen Davian Philip Seymour Hoffman
Declan Gormley Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Zhen Lei Maggie Q
John Musgrave Billy Crudup
Lindsey Farris Keri Russell
Theodore Brassel Laurence Fishburne
Jane Carter Paula Patton
Kurt Hendricks Michael Nyqvist
Sabine Moreau Léa Seydoux
Marius Wistrom Samuli Edelmann
Anatoly Sidorov Vladimir Mashkov
Trevor Hanaway Josh Holloway
IMF Secretary Tom Wilkinson
Janik Vinter Jens Hultén
Atlee Simon McBurney
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tom Hollander
August Walker
John Lark
Henry Cavill
Erik Wes Bentley
TBA Hayley Atwell
Shea Whigham
Pom Klementieff TBA
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 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 Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Brian Oliver and Bradley J. Fischer
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 performanceEdit

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 [17]
Mission: Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,216 $546,388,105 180 181 [18]
Mission: Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $263,820,211 $397,850,012 453 298 [19]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 191 121 [20]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,671,890 $682,714,267 220 123 [21]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $570,956,000 $791,115,104 163 88 [22]
Total $828 million $1,155,020,930 $2,415,456,297 $3,570,477,227 [23]

Critical and public responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Mission: Impossible 64% (58 reviews)[24] 59 (29 reviews)[25] B+[26]
Mission: Impossible 2 57% (151 reviews)[27] 59 (40 reviews)[28] B[26]
Mission: Impossible III 71% (224 reviews)[29] 66 (42 reviews)[30] A−[26]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (248 reviews)[31] 73 (47 reviews)[32] A−[26]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 93% (321 reviews)[33] 75 (46 reviews)[34] A−[26]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout 97% (427 reviews)[35] 86 (60 reviews)[36] A[26]


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,[37] 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.[37]

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.[37] 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. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b "It Sure Sounds Like Simon Pegg Announced He's Back For 'Mission: Impossible 7'". Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Classic 'Mission: Impossible' Character Returning for Sequels". Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ a b Kroll, Dave McNary,Justin; 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Grater, Tom; Grater, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Mission: Impossible 7' & '8' No Longer Shooting Back-To-Back". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Box Office Mojo.
  18. ^ "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
  19. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  20. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)". Box Office Mojo.
  21. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  22. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Box Office Mojo.
  23. ^ "Mission: Impossible Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 25, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Mission: Impossible (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  25. ^ "Mission: Impossible Reviews". Metacritic.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  28. ^ "Mission: Impossible II Reviews". Metacritic.
  29. ^ "Mission: Impossible III (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  30. ^ "Mission: Impossible III Reviews". Metacritic.
  31. ^ "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  32. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Reviews". Metacritic.
  33. ^ "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  34. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Reviews". Metacritic.
  35. ^ "Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  36. ^ "Mission: Impossible – Fallout Reviews". Metacritic.
  37. ^ a b c They Shot, He Scored by Dave Karger. Published June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 11, 2011.

External linksEdit