Not even Tom Cruise’s theatrical patronage has been able to stop the endless delays of his blockbuster movies during the Covid pandemic. He’s had three movies beset by multiple postponements because of the difficulties of shooting and releasing films in these challenging times, and today two of them got delayed again. Yep: Mission: Impossible 7 and have been pushed back one more time.

This is at least the fourth such move for the franchise in recent years. Mission: Impossible 7 was originally expected to open in July of 2021. Scheduling issues got that pushed back to November 2021, then to May of 2022, and then to September 30, 2022. But that’s not going to happen either, as Paramount has now bumped M:I 7 to July 14, 2023. Mission: Impossible 8 is understandably pushed back even further, and will now premiere on June 27, 2024. Until this latest delay, it had been expected to premiere on July 7, 2023. In a statement, Paramount said the decision was “in response to delays due to the ongoing pandemic.”

Cruise does still have another blockbuster scheduled for this summer. The also long-delayed Top Gun: Maverick is still scheduled for theatrical release on May 27, 2022. That could be a factor in the decision as well: It always seemed like a dicey proposition to release two gigantic Tom Cruise action spectaculars in the span of four months. Assuming Top Gun doesn’t get postponed, now it gets this year all to itself, and the Mission: Impossible sequels can each get the subsequent summers to dominate the box office.

Like the previous two sequels of the long-running franchise, Mission: Impossible 7 and are written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and will star Cruise Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, and Ving Rhames. New cast members in the latest installment include Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Cary Elwes. It should be blast, if it ever comes out.

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