Last month, a report surfaced that the highly-anticipated Mission: Impossible 6 starts production in either late spring or early summer. The sequel has now shifted into casting mode, with a new report surfacing today that Henry Cavill has joined the already stellar ensemble. Tom Cruise is reprising his role as Ethan Hunt, while other franchise mainstays such as Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are also expected to return in some capacity, although their casting has yet to be confirmed.

Variety reports that Henry Cavill will play the right hand man to the head of Ethan Hunt's IMF unit. Alec Baldwin played the head of the IMF in the last Mission: Impossible movie, 2015's Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, but it isn't known yet if he will return. That seems unlikely, though, since the IMF head has been played by a different actor in each movie. Henry Czerny played IMF leader in the first Mission: Impossible, with Anthony Hopkins taking over IMF as a new character in Mission: Impossible II, followed by Tom Wilkinson in Mission: Impossible III and Laurence Fishburne in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Shortly after this report, director Christopher McQuarrie sent out a photo and a brief message to Henry Cavill on Instagram. Here's what he had to say below.

"Say, @henrycavill. Had a thought. Curious if you're interested in a role in the 6th installment of Mission: Impossible. No pressure.

While this report claims that Jeremy Renner is expected to reprise his role as Brandt, the actor revealed in November that he may not be able to come back, since it conflicts with his duties on Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently shooting in Atlanta. The actor played Brandt in the last two movies, Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and Christopher McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, but we'll have to wait and see if he'll be able to come back or not. After Christopher McQuarrie's Instagram message, Henry Cavill sent back a message of his own. Here's what he had to say below.

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"I like a good challenge. Like hanging from a moving plane...or balancing from a cliff by my fingertips...or scaling a skyscraper. I guess I'll just have to get my practice in and join the fun for the next Mission Impossible. Thanks for the invite, @ChristopherMcQuarrie. #MissionImpossible #MI6"

Christopher McQuarrie is writing and directing Mission: Impossible 6, making him the first filmmaker to direct more than one film in the franchise. Brian De Palma directed the first Mission: Impossible in 1996, followed by John Woo's Mission: Impossible II in 2000, J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible III in 2006, which served as his feature directorial debut, Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol in 2011 and Christopher McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation in 2015. Paramount has already issued a July 27, 2018 release date for this action sequel. Henry Cavill will next be seen in Sand Castle alongside Nicholas Hoult, in theaters April 21, and reprising his Superman role in Warner Bros. Justice League, which hits theaters November 17. Take a look at Christopher McQuarrie's Instagram post below.