Esai Morales joins Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 7 & 8
Director Christopher McQuarrie took to Instagram to reveal that Esai Morales (La Bamba, Titans) has officially signed on to join Tom Cruise in Paramount Pictures’ upcoming action sequels Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 which are set to premiere on 2021 and 2022, respectively. He will be replacing Nicholas Hoult as the villain in the film, who had to drop out due to scheduling issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Morales’ notable film credits include: 1983’s Bad Boys opposite Sean Penn; the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba; 1992’s sci-fi action film Freejack starring alongside Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger and Anthony Hopkins; and Ben Affleck’s The Town. He also appeared in action and crime dramas such as Atomic Train, NYPD Blue, Criminal Minds, Ozark, and the most recent one was in the second season of Titans where he played the DC villain Deathstroke.
Joining Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell are returning Mission: Impossible alums Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep), Simon Pegg (Ready Player One), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Vanessa Kirby (Hobbs & Shaw) and Henry Czerny (Ready or Not) along with newcomers Shea Whigham (Joker), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Avengers: Infinity War) and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road).
Following the large critical and commercial success of the past two installments, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie signed a new deal with Paramount to return to write and direct the next two installments, turning down other studio offers to continue his long-running partnership with franchise star Tom Cruise. Skydance Media, who joined the franchise with the fourth installment, Ghost Protocol, will be returning to produce the next two entries.
The Mission: Impossible franchise spans almost 25 years and six films, starting off with modest critical and major box office success in the first two films before launching its lead protagonist into grittier and more explosive stories, each film getting progressively better reviews than its predecessor, with the most recent installment, Fallout, earning the highest reviews for both the franchise and the action genre, currently maintaining a 97% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes while also acquiring the highest box office gross of the franchise at over $790 million worldwide.
Mission: Impossible 7 is set to premiere on November 19, 2021 followed by Mission: Impossible 8 on November 4, 2022.