Christopher McQuarrie very successfully helmed the last two entries in the Mission: Impossible franchise. His next mission? Write and then film Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 back to back. That sounds like a mighty big challenge. Still, if anyone is up to that challenge, it would seem to be the duo of McQuarrie and Tom Cruise. So how is McQuarrie feeling about the whole thing? He's freaked out.

We learned earlier this year that Paramount Pictures had locked down Christopher McQuarrie for the next two M:I movies following the success of last year's Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which set new benchmarks for the franchise both critically and commercially. During a recent interview, the filmmaker, who has collaborated with Tom Cruise more than ten times now as either a writer, producer or director, explained his feelings regarding the upcoming task ahead of them. Here's what he had to say about it.

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"I pitched the idea of making two movies, and now I have to justify why it's two movies. You've got to earn that. You've got to make something that swallows the last three movies whole. I'm freaked out now. We've talked ourselves into something. Holy s***. Here's the problem with going to the moon: how do you fall from the moon?"

That does sound like a tall order. 2011's Ghost Protocol, 2015's Rogue Nation and 2018's Fallout were all embraced by critics and audiences alike, in addition to doing big business at the box office. But this franchise has done a great job of evolving from one installment to the next. After more than 20 years and seven movies, what new ground is there to break? Telling one big story in two parts sounds like an inventive way to move things forward. Ambitious and potentially hard to justify? Sure. But if executed correctly, a great idea.

For now, we have very little to go on in terms of what to expect from these next two movies. We know they're going to shoot back to back and that production will likely get underway once Tom Cruise has wrapped up his commitments on Top Gun: Maverick, which is set to hit theaters next summer. We also know that Rebecca Ferguson, who has played Ilsa Faust in the last two entries, will reprise her role in the upcoming sequels. It's also expected that Simon Pegg will be back as Benji.

To date, the franchise has grossed $3.57 billion globally, making it one of the more successful franchises that Paramount has under its belt. And considering how well things have gone with Christopher McQuarrie at the helm, we're assuming they still feel they have the right man for the job, despite his nervousness. Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to hit theaters on July 23, 2021. Mission: Impossible 8 will follow a year later on August 5, 2022. This news was first reported by Empire.