The latest Mission: Impossible film is set to begin filming in Rome this March, with series star Simon Pegg unofficially set to return as Benji.
Mission: Impossible 7 will film in Rome, Italy and actor Simon Pegg is expected to return. The Tom Cruise led spy series has been a revolutionary force in the action-thriller genre, ever since it debuted way back in 1996, creating the ideal platform for Cruise’s high-octane stunts.
With each successive film in the series, Cruise has continued to push himself to greater and more elaborate feats of stunt work, ensuring that thrill seeking fans continue to come back for more. As previously mentioned, the Mission: Impossible series has paved the way for a new era of films in the action-thriller genre, even forcing the James Bond franchise to up the ante and overhaul its stylistic approach. As Mission: Impossible became more of a phenomenon and Cruise took more control over how the films were made, the tone and pacing of the films also influenced the growth of new films such as the Jason Bourne franchise and the Kingsman series. Though there has previously been rumors that Cruise was getting set to step back from Mission: Impossible in favor of a younger lead, each new film only sees the return of the 57-year-old, with even more jaw-dropping stunts in his arsenal.
It’s been a year now since we officially learned that Mission: Impossible regular Christopher McQuarrie would be back in the director’s chair for the seventh and eighth installments. The return of Cruise is also a certainty, along with several other established characters like Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust. But one character who has yet to be confirmed is Simon Pegg’s gadget wielding operative, Benji. The latest news on this issue comes to us from Collider, who point out that during an interview at the 2019 Whistler Film Festival back in December, Pegg revealed that one of his upcoming projects is Mission: Impossible related. Said the Fallout star: “I have another Mission: Impossible to start next year.” Also revealed thanks to Italian site Badtaste is that M:I 7 will be filming in Rome as of this March.
For fans of Pegg’s M:I character, this is the best sort of news one can ask for. While the return hasn’t officially been confirmed, Pegg’s statement gives few other options but to conclude that he is indeed back. One interesting aspect of this to consider, however, is that Pegg did state that he has “another Mission: Impossible to start” and not two more Mission: Impossible films to start. The distinction may be a minor one, but the fact of the matter is that McQuarrie has long since made it clear that the next two M:I sequels would be shot back-to-back, with release dates in 2021 and 2022, respectively. It’s hard to believe that Pegg wouldn’t be included in a M:I film. However, at this point, Pegg’s statement could be an unintentional reveal of what the series has planned for the popular character.
Another way of looking at the upcoming M:I sequels is that they are, in fact, one film split into two parts. This certainly is not a new concept, as we’ve seen it done in the past with films like Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2. If this is the case, it makes sense why Pegg would refer to both films as one entity. McQuarrie has previously taken the time to mention that Cruise’s ideas for the upcoming films are “really big” and it’s hard to imagine a much bigger concept than one massive M:I film split into two parts. It will indeed be very interesting to see what the upcoming weeks and months reveal.