Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures are still battling to find a compromise over how they should release their upcoming action spy film, Mission: Impossible 7. In a new exposé, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the anticipated sequel is now at the center of a distribution battle between its lead star and producer, Cruise and production company, Paramount.
After Mission: Impossible 7‘s production and release were delayed multiple times over the past couple of years because of COVID-19, the studio wants to set a 45-day theatrical window for the latest installment in its tentpole franchise before bringing it to Paramount+. But Cruise wants the drama to have a more traditional three-month theatrical window before it premieres on the streaming service.
The three-time Academy Award-nominated performer has allegedly hired a lawyer to come to an agreement with Paramount. However, Cruise and the production company are waiting until production on Mission: Impossible 7 is finished to resume negotiations over its release.
“For [Cruise], 45 days is like going day-and-date,” a Paramount source told The Hollywood Reporter. “He also felt that setting a date when the movie could be seen on the service would discourage people from going to the theater.”
The distribution date for the movie, which was written, and is being directed and produced, by Christopher McQuarrie, has been pushed back four times. Its current release date is set for July 14, 2023.
However, Cruise is reportedly elongating the production process as a negotiation tactic for Paramount to change its distribution strategy for Mission Impossible 7. While he’s negotiating with the studio, he’s also simultaneously working on the eighth entry in the series, which is believed to be the last installment in the franchise.
The Mission Impossible series has proven to be a successful one for Paramount. Its last entry, 2018’s Mission: Impossible: Fallout, is the highest-grossing installment of the franchise, having grossed $791.6 million worldwide. The overall series has earned over $3.5 billion for the production company.
However, Mission: Impossible 7‘s budget currently stands at over $290 million with tax incentives. Cruise has allegedly persuaded Paramount’s new president and CEO, Brian Robbins, to give the franchise more money to finish its current film and make the eighth, which is scheduled to be distributed on June 28, 2024.
Robbins was reportedly hired after Paramount’s former CEO, Jim Gianopulos, was let go from the company. The executive and the studio parted ways in part because he was unable to convince Cruise to shorten Mission: Impossible 7‘s theatrical release window before its Paramount+ distribution.
“Jim was bridging between what [Paramount’s] Shari [Redstone] and [president and CEO] Bob [Bakish] wanted and what Jim felt was the right thing to do,” which was to protect the production company’s relationship with Cruise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Part of the reason [Jim] is gone is that Shari and Bob thought they could wave a magic wand,” and persuade the actor to accept the shortened window between the theatrical and streaming releases. But “Tom is so committed to theatrical.”
Cruise reportedly isn’t in agreement with Gibbons, either. So “Tom says what he wants and the studio says what it wants,” The Hollywood Reporter also noted. “And then Tom gets what he asked for,” notably the bigger budget for the last two film in the Mission: Impossible series.