Tom Cruise has not been a happy camper during the production stage of the latest Mission Impossible film but neither has Paramount Pictures.
Paramount Pictures seems to be having a very rough go of producing their latest film, Mission: Impossible 7, and insiders within the business are pointing their fingers at its box office draw, Tom Cruise.
In the face of internal fears that the studio could lose big on its upcoming Mission Impossible movie, Paramount made a decision regarding the film that has the actor and producer question his legal options.
In a report by The Hollywood Reporter, actor Tom Cruise has reportedly sought legal advice over Paramount’s internal decision to give Mission: Impossible 7 a 45-day theatrical window, which is far shorter than Cruise’s usual three-month run. Following this 45-day run in theaters it will begin streaming on Paramount+.
The move to rush the film to Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+, could cost the actor hundreds of millions of dollars as part of his deal to act and produce in the next two Mission Impossible movies.
Cruise is one of the last dollar-one gross actors in Hollywood and box office receipts are vital to his compensation. He is reportedly balking at the idea of a resolution with Paramount until much of Mission Impossible 8 is completed. The actor, who has creative control over the next two Mission Impossible movies, and the studio are reportedly far from settling the issue.
A similar situation saw actress Scarlett Johansson sue The Walt Disney Company over their decision to have Black Widow debut both in theaters and on Disney+ simultaneously during the height of last year’s COVID lockdowns.
Not only did Johansson sue, but Village Roadshow is currently suing WarnerMedia for their day and date release of The Matrix Resurrections in theaters and on HBO Max among other accusations such as eviscerating “the significant value of Village Roadshow’s intellectual property” and “dilute the value of this tentpole franchise [The Matrix]” to prop up HBO Max.
Mission Impossible 7 has suffered a series of behind-the-scenes issues over the last two years that has continued to push back the final product from release. Originally slated for a release date of July 23, 2021, the film has been delayed four times as of this writing and it now hopes to be released on July 14, 2023, without any further setbacks. In fact, THR claims Mission Impossible 7 isn’t finished yet.
The pushbacks were caused by a mountain of delays that has dealt Tom Cruise an added level of stress of trying to finish the film within COVID protocol guidelines. Filming has been shutdown on several occasions starting in Venice back on Feb. 24, 2020 due to “an abundance of caution” of a possible outbreak.
The problems only persisted when production moved to Rome in March 2020 as the Italian government locked down the country as they were one of the worst hit nations during the initial outbreak.
Cast and crew then resumed work in July 2020 after British authorities gave them a special dispensation to skip a mandatory 14-day quarantine, However, director Christopher McQuarrie was hospitalized with COVID in London causing even more costly delays.
The months that followed involved another shutdown in filming in October 2020, after a dozen people on set tested positive for the coronavirus before a final shutdown when production moved to Venice due to another outbreak.
The stress of this interruptions led to a viral incident in December 2020 where audio of Cruise berating the film crew on the set for violating “social distancing rules.” Editors of the film were accused of being within six feet of each other while doing their jobs which was in violation of the on-set rules.
Cruise then gathered about fifty crew members and told them that no one’s being given any more chances and any further violations of social distancing rules mean you’re “f***ing gone.”
“If I see you do it again, you’re fucking gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it — and you too and you too. And you, don’t you ever fucking do it again,” an angry Cruise stated.
“They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherfuckers. That’s it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their fucking homes because our industry is shut down. “
“We are not shutting this f***ing movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re f***ing gone.”
Paramount Pictures has had their own issue with production with many taking exception to Cruise’s out of control spending which has executives worried about whether they will see a return on their investment.
Mission Impossible 7, which still hasn’t been finished reportedly has a breathtaking $290 million production budget with tax incentives. That budget is before a marketing budget has been established which will likely double the costs.
The Hollywood Reporter claims, “Cruise has persuaded Brian Robbins, the new president and CEO of Paramount Pictures, to give him more money to finish the seventh film and make the eighth, arguing (with some justification) that inflation has driven up expenses.”
Some of the costs of the production for Mission Impossible 7 might be offset as Paramount reportedly had a $100 million insurance policy with Federal Insurance Company that would pay for the added costs of moving locations, multiple shutdowns, and the extra expense of complying with COVID-19 protocols.
The insurer so far has only paid $5 million for losses incurred and has declined to pay for most of the other expenses incurred, prompting Paramount to sue the company, a case that is still pending. While there are probably a lot of people to be blamed for the COVID-related shutdowns, some have blamed Cruise’s ego and his need to be a ‘perfectionist’ for the additional costs of the film.
There are still some within Paramount that still have faith in the success of the project. 2018’s Mission Impossible: Fallout was the highest-grossing movie of the series pulling in $791.6 million worldwide which is more than $100 million higher than the previous entry.
The Mission Impossible franchise has stretched out for over 27 years and has been one of the few movie properties that have gotten better over time with fans and critics alike. According to The-Numbers, the franchise has grossed over $3.57 billion worldwide over six movies.
However, the turmoil behind their latest film has many in doubt about the future of Mission Impossible 8 and if Tom Cruise does in fact decide to sue over the box office profits of MI:7, a lengthy legal battle could sink the future of the franchise during a time that Paramount cannot afford to lose out on a cash cow.
What do you make of this alleged war between Tom Cruise and Paramount over Mission Impossible?