‘Mission: Impossible 7’ Test Screenings Begin, and Paramount Global President Says It’s Still Too Long

"They've got to cut it," Bob Bakish said. "But the movie is insane."
Mission: Impossible
"Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One"
Screenshot/Paramount

The bigger the budget and the longer the wait for theatrical, the longer the movie it seems as “Mission: Impossible 7” reaches a new running-time high.

Bob Bakish, president of Paramount Global, revealed during the Paramount panel at the 2023 Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, & Telecom Conference on March 8 that the first test screenings for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (aka “M:I7”) have started.

“I haven’t seen all of ‘MI:7,’ but I’ve seen a bunch of it,” Bakish said. “We actually just did the first test screening for an audience last week, and the audience lost their mind. And it’s still too long, they’ve got to cut it. But the movie is insane. It’s like a complete thrill ride. And Tom, he’s very good.”

Tom Cruise reprises his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt for the first part of the franchise finale, in theaters July 14.  Returning stars include Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby, while new cast members include Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff.

The last entry, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” clocked in at 147 minutes, making it the longest of the franchise. “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part Two” is already set for a June 28, 2024 release date. (That movie is not yet finished.)

Production for “Dead Reckoning Part One” was repeatedly halted by the pandemic but eventually wrapped in September 2021. Cruise allegedly took legal action to reach an agreement with Paramount for “Dead Reckoning” to receive a theatrical release as opposed to a slated 45-day theatrical window before landing on streamer Paramount+.

The “Mission Impossible” franchise has proven to be a goldmine for Paramount, with 2018’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” as the highest-grossing movie of the series, accumulating $791.6 million worldwide. The “Mission: Impossible” franchise as a whole has grossed over $3.5 billion for Paramount.

“The ‘M:I’ series really does represent the pinnacle of filmmaking excellence,” Paramount president Brian Robbins said at 2022 CinemaCon. “And we have no doubt that this new picture will set the bar even higher.”

Robbins continued, “After five release dates and a whole bunch of rumors where this movie would end up, we are finally ready to bring this phenomenal movie to where it always belonged, and that is your theaters.”

The budget reportedly ballooned upwards of $290 million during production, with additional funds allocated to finish post-production on the action epic, with Cruise admitting he had the most dangerous stunt of his career in the upcoming film.

Reporting by Tony Maglio.

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