A mysterious new image from Mission: Impossible 7 could hint at some potential ties with a major plot point from 2000's action sequel, Mission: Impossible 2. The shot depicts an unknown person's hand (possible Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust) holding a syringe gun that looks suspiciously like the same ones used to administer the deadly Chimera virus that caused Ethan Hunt so much bother all those years ago.

Directed by action cinema icon John Woo, Mission: Impossible 2 found Tom Cruise's super spy tasked with tracking down and destroying a dangerous biological weapon called "Chimera" which has been stolen by rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott). Developed by bio-chemical expert and friend of Hunt, Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich (Rade Šerbedžija), the Chimera virus killed those exposed to it through painful mass destruction of the victim's red blood cells, with the cure, Bellerophon, needing to be given within the first 20 hours of exposure. Ambrose planned to expose large swathes of the population to the virus before selling the cure to desperate buyers and thus making billions. Cue the Dr. Evil pinky.

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Of course, he stopped thanks to lots of running around, shooting, and punching, with a little more wire fu thrown in for good measure, but this being the world of the IMF, the Chimera could have survived somehow to once again rear its ugly head in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7.

Director Christopher McQuarrie has previously teased that both this sequel and Mission: Impossible 8 will be the final parts of Ethan Hunt's story, taking the hero back to the beginning, and providing a much more emotional journey for the seemingly indestructible action hero. It has already been confirmed that the upcoming sequel will have ties to the first Mission: Impossible thanks to the return of a character not seen since then, sleazy IMF director Eugene Kittridge (played once again by Henry Czerny), with Vanessa Kirby also set to reprise her Mission: Impossible - Fallout role as Alanna Mitsopolis, a black-market arms dealer known as the White Widow and daughter of "Max", a character who also appeared in the first Mission: Impossible movie. So, could it be that Mission: Impossible 7 will reach back into the franchise's past and throw all manner of previous villains, both human and viral, at Hunt and his crew?

For now, plot details for Mission: Impossible 7 remain under wraps, but we do at least know who will be involved. Tom Cruise will of course return as Ethan Hunt, once again working alongside Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, and Rebecca Ferguson as former MI6 agent Ilsa Faust. The sequel will also add Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, and Esai Morales to the Mission: Impossible roster.

Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to be released theatrically on November 19, 2021, by Paramount Pictures, followed by a streaming release on Paramount+ 45 days later. The plan was to film both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 back-to-back but sadly those plans have now changed due to delays caused by the ongoing global situation. This comes to us courtesy of Christopher McQuarrie's official Instagram account.