Last July, just before the blockbuster Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation hit theaters, a report surfaced that production on Mission: Impossible 6 was set to begin sometime in the summer of 2016, with Paramount Pictures moving ahead rather quickly on the action sequel. Since then, we have heard that Roue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie will return, the first time in franchise history the same director made two movies in a row, and Rebecca Ferguson will also reprise her role as Ilsa Faust from Rogue Nation, but we haven't heard any updates since December. Today we have word that pre-production has been halted, which could be because star/producer Tom Cruise is engaged in a contract dispute with Paramount Pictures.

Deadline reports that Paramount has hired between 15 and 20 people to do "soft prep work" for Mission: Impossible 6, including the early design of the visual effects. Tom Cruise and writer-director Christopher McQuarrie had already worked out the beats of the film, with the director then going off to write the script. Earlier today, those aforementioned employees were told to stop working.

This report claims that two different explanations were given for why pre-production work was halted. One was that Paramount wants Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, Bad Robot, Skydance Pictures and other producers to lower their fees. However, other reports claim that Tom Cruise wants Paramount to match the pay raise he got from Universal for starring in The Mummy remake, which is set to hit theaters next summer. Paramount, however, wants to pay him a salary comparable to what he received on Rogue Nation, so, until this conflict is resolved, pre-production work was halted.

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Despite the report from last year, production is not set to begin this summer, with this new report revealing that Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie will start filming in January, and the writer-director had just started writing the script. This report claims this contract dispute is nothing more than a "hiccup," since there isn't a huge rush to get the deals worked out, with prep work to resume once everything is finalized. Still, Paramount didn't want to tie up too much money in staffing pre-production employees while bigger money issues needed to be resolved.

Paramount hasn't set a release date yet for this Mission: Impossible sequel, but it's possible that the studio may be aiming for either a late 2017 release, or a summer 2018 release. Rogue Nation was initially supposed to debut over the holiday season in 2015, but it was pushed up five months to the summer of 2015. Production didn't wrap until last spring, just a few months before the movie hit theaters, but, despite a condensed production schedule, the sequel was still a box office hit, taking in $195 million domestically and $682.3 million worldwide, from a $150 million budget. We'll keep you posted with more updates on Mission: Impossible 6 as soon as more details come in.