The most impossible mission for Simon Pegg? Learning the name of the movie he’s starring in.
“I found out on the day of the trailer and not from [director] Chris McQuarrie. I found out from the trailer,” Pegg told Collider. “No, no one told me. So I texted McQ and was like, ‘Dead Reckoning? Were you going to tell us that at some point?’ I heard it was going to be something else, but I like that.”
Pegg added, ” ‘Land of the Dead’ was originally called ‘Dead Reckoning.’ So finally, I get to be in a film called ‘Dead Reckoning.'”
“Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part I” is the first installment of the conclusion to the 1996 film franchise led by Tom Cruise, who plays undercover CIA agent Ethan Hunt. The seventh film arrives in theaters July 14, 2023, followed by “Mission: Impossible 8” out June 28, 2024.
Pegg shared that production has “just started” on “M:I 8,” explaining, “We’re right back to the beginning again. There’s still a couple of things to pick up with ‘7’ because I think the way ‘8’ evolves might determine a few things, which is a great luxury we have in this situation, being able to do two films back to back. But yeah, we are now officially in production of ‘Dead Reckoning – Part Two.'”
McQuarrie helms both films, which will have exclusive theatrical releases in part due to Cruise’s urging. Production for “Dead Reckoning Part I” was repeatedly halted by the pandemic but eventually wrapped in September of 2021.
The budget reportedly ballooned upwards of $290 million during production, with additional funds allocated to finish post-production on the action epic. Cruise told Empire magazine that a sequence involving him riding a motorcycle off a cliff was the most dangerous stunt of his career.
“I had about six seconds once I departed the ramp to pull the chute and I don’t want to get tangled in the bike,” Cruise revealed. “If I do, that’s not going to end well.”
Co-star Pegg previously said he gets the “willies” watching Cruise perform his own stunts. “There’s a frisson you get when there’s authenticity: the idea that this guy is actually jumping off a cliff on a motorbike and deploying the parachute 100 feet from the ground?” Pegg admitted. “It puts the willies up you…There’s no stunt double for him.”