Back in February, a report surfaced that the new Mission: Impossible sequel will start filming this spring in Paris, although no details about the story or the returning cast have been confirmed yet. There wasn't a concrete production start date given either, but over the weekend, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie reveale that filming has in fact started, sharing the first set photo. Unfortunately, this image doesn't feature Tom Cruise or any of the other cast members, but it does reveal the first slate for the first scene being filmed.
Christopher McQuarrie shared this new image on Twitter, which comes just after we recently found out that one of the beloved cast members will not be back. While no details of his return in Ant-Man 2 were given, it was said that the actor is expected to shoot both Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp back-to-back. Avengers: Infinity War started filming in January, with filming slated to take place in Atlanta, the U.K. and New York City. Both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 will be shot back-to-back, with principal photography expected to last well through this fall.
In between that enormous shoot, Ant-Man and the Wasp is slated to film in Atlanta starting in June, which leaves no room in Jeremy Renner's schedule to star in Mission: Impossible 6, unless the schedule is shifted sometime soon. Long before news of his role in Ant-Man and the Wasp surfaced, Jeremy Renner hinted during a November interview for his sci-fi movie Arrival, that he may not be able to return, due to scheduling complications with Avengers: Infinity War. Our report from earlier this month revealed that Henry Cavill is playing the right hand man to the head of Ethan Hunt's IMF unit, although the head of the IMF hasn't been cast yet, since that role has been played by a different actor in each movie, with Alec Baldwin last playing the IMF head in Rogue Nation. If Jeremy Renner's Brandt truly isn't returning, then perhaps the studio will cast another actor as a completely new character to join Ethan's IMF team.
While Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill are the only confirmed cast members so far, it is believed that Rebecca Ferguson will return as Ilsa Faust, along with Simon Pegg's Benji Dunn and Ving Rhames' Luther Stickell, who has appeared in every Mission: Impossible movie thus far. No story details have been given at this time, but producer David Ellison revealed that this movie will feature Tom Cruise's biggest stunt ever, which he has been prepping for a full year, and continues the franchise's tradition of escalating stunts. 2015's Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation opened with arguably one of the most elaborate and death-defying stunt sequences in recent memory, where Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt was hanging on to the door of a cargo plane as it takes off.
This action-packed sequel will also make history in another way. Christopher McQuarrie will become the first director to take the helm for two movies in this action-packed franchise, after also working with Tom Cruise as a writer on Valkyrie and Edge of Tomorrow, and as a director on Jack Reacher. The first Mission: Impossible movie in 1996 was directed by Brian De Palma, followed by 2000's Mission: Impossible II, directed by John Woo, 2006's Mission: Impossibe III, which marked the directorial debut of J.J. Abrams, 2011's Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, marking the live-action directorial debut of Brad Bird and 2015's Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie. With filming set to begin sometime this spring, hopefully we'll have more casting and story details for Mission: Impossible 6 in the near future. In the meantime, take a look at the first set photo from this action sequel, with production now under way.