Is Tom Cruise Exiting ‘Mission: Impossible’ After ‘Dead Reckoning’? Director Says Don’t Believe Every Report

Will Tom Cruise be leaving the “Mission: Impossible” franchise following the release of the upcoming “Dead Reckoning” entries? Sources have said that the seventh and eighth “Mission: Impossible” movies (being released as “Dead Reckoning – Part 1” and “Dead Reckoning – Part  2”) are designed as “a sendoff for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character,” but director Christopher McQuarrie said on the “Light the Fuse” podcast that you can’t believe everything you read. However, the director wouldn’t confirm or deny the speculation.

Asked if the “Dead Reckoning” movies will be the end of Cruise’s tenure with the action franchise, McQuarrie responded, “Let me tell you, I’ve been working with Tom Cruise for 15 years and I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been standing next to the man, witnessed an event and then read about it in the trades the next day and none of what they describe is actually true.”

McQuarrie launched into an example: “We were in Birmingham shooting a scene between Tom and Haley [Atwell]. The next day I read an article in the paper that said Tom and four other guests went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant. I read that Tom insisted on sitting at a table not in a private room but in the main restaurant with the other diners and that Tom ordered three orders of chicken masala because he liked it so much.”

“I called Tom the next day and said, ‘There’s something weird about this article. It’s 100% factually correct!’” McQuarrie continued. “That’s the first time I’ve read an article in which everything happened exactly as written.”

“I read that ‘Mission’ was going to be shot concurrently and then we decided not to do that,” the director added. “When you read articles in the trades, just put the imaginary word in front of the headline: ‘The Agenda Is…’ When you read ‘anonymous sources’ or ‘sources close to the production say,’ that’s somebody putting it out there for a specific reason. That’s someone wanting others to think that for a specific reason, and you can never know for sure what those reasons are. You learn to ignore it and laugh at it. In today’s world, you wait 17 minutes and another news cycle will sweep it away.”

All of that when asked if Tom Cruise will exit the “Mission: Impossible” franchise as reported hints that we might be seeing more Ethan Hunt after “Dead Reckoning.” McQuarrie directed both installments of the two-part movie. Even if Cruise decides to leave “Mission: Impossible,” he will continue to work with McQuarrie. The director confirmed he’s already cooking up a new movie for Cruise that he describes as even “gnarlier” than the “Mission: Impossible” movies.

“It’s kind of under wraps,” McQuarrie said. “It has neither a fuse nor a fuselage. Oh that’s not true… It does have some fuselages. It’s something we’ve talked about for a really long time. It’s way outside of what you’re used to seeing Tom do. It’s the kind of stuff I really love. It’s a little bit more in my wheelhouse. And yet it takes everything we’ve learned on this journey, which is making movies more and more about emotion and real emotional experiences.”

Paramount is set to open “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1” in theaters on July 14, 2023 and “Dead Reckoning 2” in theaters on June 28, 2024.