Update 12-1-2015: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has confirmed that he will return to write and direct the sixth installment of the blockbuster franchise. He announced the news via Twitter.
Mission: Accepted #MI6
— ChristopherMcQuarrie (@chrismcquarrie) November 30, 2015
McQuarrie’s return makes him the first filmmaker to direct multiple movies in the franchise. Production is expected to get underway on the still-untitled film in mid-2016, with Tom Cruise reprising his starring role as secret agent Ethan Hunt.
This year’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was a massive success for the franchise, so it’s no surprise that the studio is already working on yet another adventure featuring the Impossible Mission Force — but if a new rumor proves true, the next film could break with the tradition set by the previous five films in a big way.
For the first time in the Mission: Impossible series, a director could return for a second installment of the hit franchise.
According to Variety, Rogue Nation writer and director Christopher McQuarrie will almost certainly script the upcoming, sixth installment of the series, but could also direct the film, too. If the latter occurs, McQuarrie would be the first director to helm two films in the franchise.
Details are scarce regarding the studio’s plans for the next Mission: Impossible movie, but Tom Cruise has already confirmed that he’ll reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt for the film. Rogue Nation actress Rebecca Ferguson is also expected to reprise her role as Ilsa Faust.
The report indicates that the studio is hoping to get production underway on the film next year, which would likely mean that a writer and a director will need to be in place in the near future — two deals that can be taken care of in one shot by bringing back McQuarrie.
The potential return of McQuarrie is notable for breaking the franchise’s trend of one-and-done filmmakers. The first Mission: Impossible was directed by Brian de Palma, and subsequent installments were directed by John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and earlier this year, McQuarrie. Already an Oscar-winning writer thanks to his script for the 1995 thriller The Usual Suspects, McQuarrie has a long history with Cruise that includes penning the scripts for the 2008 World War II thriller Valkyrie and the recent, criminally under-appreciated sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow, both of which starred Cruise. He also wrote and directed 2012’s Jack Reacher, featuring Cruise as the titular military investigator.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was released on July 31 and earned more than $682 million worldwide. It currently ranks as the second highest-grossing film in the franchise worldwide (after 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and the third highest-grossing film in the series domestically.