The fuse on a new Mission: Impossible movie has been briefly extinguished. Pre-production had already begun on the the sixth film in the franchise, which was announced before the last instalment, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015), was even released. But Deadline reports that work has now been temporarily halted.
According to the report, a small team of around 15 to 20 people had begun early prep on the film in London, including visual effects tests, but Paramount Pictures have now ordered work to stop until a pay dispute has been settled.
It is unclear where the dispute lies – one source suggests that the studio are looking to reduce the fees of its producer and star, Tom Cruise, and the production companies Bad Robot and Skydance. The other scenario is that Cruise's agent is angling for more money, given he remains a huge box office draw, and the Mission: Impossible series is among Paramount Pictures' biggest franchises – Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation earned just under $700m.
It is hardly an impossible mission to get things back on track – disputes of this sort are not uncommon in big budget filmmaking, where agents are looking to deliver massive paydays for their A-list clients while studios hope to keep overheads to a minimum. Preperation is apparently due to resume on the film once the behind the scenes deal making is done.
Given it is still very early days – no release date is set, and filming is not due to start until the new year – the delay is likely to be minimal. Rogue Nation's Christopher McQuarrie is returning to write and direct the sequel, bringing along that film's breakout star Rebecca Ferguson for the ride. As long as everything is amicably sorted out, we can probably expect Mission: Impossible 6 to arrive some time in 2018.