Mission Impossible is one of those rare blockbuster franchises that shows no signs of slowing down. The actor-director duo of Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie have managed to keep reinventing the premise of the original film and top the stunts and action scenes of each film with the next installment. During Empire Online's 400th podcast, McQuarrie paid a surprise visit to the set to drop some major hints about the work being done for Mission: Impossible 7.

"I figured out the story about four weeks ago. I moved one essential piece of the puzzle, and suddenly I was able to outline the entire movie in eight minutes."
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One thing that sets the creation of the Mission Impossible films separate from others is the way the script gets written. The storyline of each new installment in the series is very much dependant on the type of locations that Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie want to feature in the movie and the type of stunts that they feel they can do at those locations.

Once the set pieces are locked down, the movie begins production, with the narrative arc still kept fluid throughout production to accommodate any new action scenes that the crew can think of inserting into the storyline. With the upcoming film, McQuarrie revealed he was even able to hit upon the basic outline of Mission: Impossible 8 while imagining a way to set up the final segment of Mission Impossible 7 .

"We were all sitting down working on this very big sequence that ends the first movie, and we started taking account of everything we were planning to do and for the first time we started to say 'Alright, why don't we start thinking fiscally and responsibly about how we're actually going to make this movie.' and I realized that there were too many twenty-minute chunks in our movie and we had a choice to make, 'Are we going to make another Fallout or not?'

And what would happen if we took one or two of these things out, and when we did that it radically altered the process yet again, and suddenly two twenty-minute chunks came out of the movie and moved into the next movie, and I went 'The second movie's halfway done!'"

So it seems finding a reason for Ethan Hunt to go on two more impossible missions is a question that McQuarrie has already found the answer to. But a more important question remains regarding the action in the upcoming features. Tom Cruise is famous for pulling off one hair-raising stunt after another in each new Mission Impossible film, without overly relying on the use of CGI green screens or stunt doubles. This has led to many fans of the franchise joking that the only way Cruise can top his own stunts in the next film is if he goes into space. But according to McQuarrie, that won't be necessary.

"He's not going to space, nor does he need to go to space. We've figured out three obscene things that he's doing that I'm terrified of, that make the helicopter chase look like tinker toys. He's training and he calls me and describes what he's doing and I laugh and I cheer, then I hang up and I puke into a bucket. He's training quite intensely right now."

Fans can thus look forward to two more Mission Impossible movies which according to the director himself are going to be as exciting and action-packed, or perhaps even more so, than the previous installments. And if Cruise chooses to retire from the character of Ethan Hunt after the eighth Mission Impossible movie, as is rumored, it seems he and McQuarrie are determined to go out on high note. Empire Online.

Neeraj Chand