The next two editions of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films have been delayed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.`

Paramount Pictures and Skydance have postponed the release of Mission: Impossible 7 from September 2022 to 14 July 2023.

They have also set a new date for the eighth film, which was expected to be released in July 2023 but will now be released on 28 July 2024.

In a joint statement, the studios said: “After thoughtful consideration, Paramount Pictures and Skydance have decided to postpone the release dates for Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 in response to delays due to the ongoing pandemic.

“We look forward to providing moviegoers with an unparalleled theatrical experience.”

Constant COVID disruptions

The films, which sees Cruise reprise the role of globe-trotting secret agent Ethan Hunt, has faced a difficult shoot due to the pandemic, suffering several delays.

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Production for the seventh film started in Venice, Italy, in February 2020 but was halted due to the spread of coronavirus.

It was later moved to the UK but stopped twice due to the pandemic, most recently in June 2021 after positive COVID-19 tests among the cast and crew.

The latest instalment in the $3.5bn (£2.6bn) franchise was set for release in May 2022 but was moved again to the following September amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the US due to the Delta variant.

Cruise has previously hit out at people breaking COVID protocols on set and in December 2020, audio emerged of Cruise delivering a furious rant to the film’s crew for breaking protocols, telling them: “If I see you do it again, you’re f****** gone.”

Cruise’s UK adventure

Mission: Impossible 7 is directed by Christopher McQuarrie and also stars Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby.

Cruise and his Mission: Impossible colleagues have been spotted in the UK during filming.

In April, pictures from Derbyshire appeared to show a train track in a quarry, while Cruise was spotted in North Yorkshire on top of a mock steam locomotive.

While in North Yorkshire, the 58-year-old actor waved to members of the public who had flocked to see him at the heritage railway.

During filming, Cruise was also spotted at an Indian restaurant in Birmingham but had his BMW stolen in the same city.

The X7 was taken in August 2021 from Church Street but later found a few miles away in Smethwick.

Cruise is yet to make his return to the big screen, with his other film, Maverick, also delayed due to the pandemic.

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The sequel to Top Gun, also being made by Paramount, was originally due to be released in 2020, but was delayed twice – first to November 2021 and then to May 2022.

In August 2021, Paramount Studio’s sued its insurance company over alleged failure to pay out COVID insurance money.

The studio lodged the claim against Federal Insurance Company in California and Paramount claims it was covered for losses exceeding $100m (£73m).