New 'Mission: Impossible' Sequels Character Details Teased By Director Christopher McQuarrie

The Mission: Impossible franchise had barely begun production on the seventh installment when the coronavirus pandemic shut down movie and TV sets all over the world. Since it's the first of two back-to-back sequels, the release dates have already been pushed back to give director Christopher McQuarrie and producer/star Tom Cruise to make sure everything is in order when the movie is allowed to resume production. Thankfully, that gave McQuarrie, as well as a couple cast members, some time to talk about what fans can expect from the two sequels.

Christopher McQuarrie was recently a guest on the 100th episode of the Mission: Impossible-centric podcast Light the Fuse, and he was also joined by Simon Pegg and Hayley Atwell. Though they couldn't dig too much into details about the sequels, there were some little tidbits that were rather interesting to learn.

First up, even though pretty much all of them had already been announced, McQuarrie officially confirmed that more recent franchise stars Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby would be returning, and the reliable Ving Rhames would be back at Ethan Hunt's side as well. On top of that, Mission: Impossible – Fallout composer Lorne Balfe will be back for both of the sequels.

McQuarrie also teased that there's a new cast member who has not yet been announced, and not even Hayley Atwell is aware of who it is, which would imply that it might be a character with ties to her role. There was also another actor McQuarrie was talking to just before the pandemic about taking a role, a new cast member, so he doesn't know where that potential deal stands. But the real juicy stuff is about what our characters will be encountering in these movies.

Simon Pegg is coming back as the IT guy turned field agent Benji, and he'll have a full-on emotional arc in Mission: Impossible 7. The discussion about Benji's story in the sequel was compared to the arc that Ethan Hunt had in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Does that mean someone important in Benji's life might be threatened, giving him something more to fight for? Or will the trauma of what Pegg endured at the end of Fallout be something that impacts where we find him in the seventh movie? That sounds more likely since it would be similar to Ethan Hunt still dealing with the events of Rogue Nation in Fallout.

As for Hayley Atwell's character, McQuarrie wouldn't come right out and confirm her as a villain or the heavy of the movie, though he has hinted at that when she was announced to be in the movie. But the director said Atwell has proven to be"frightening with a knife," and that she was a "destructive force of nature" that the team encounters, making an impact on them all. Pegg also noted that he saw part of a video showing her stunt training, and he described her movement as "super fast" with "proper Matrix shit going on."

But what's most interesting about Atwell's character is that her direction appears to be fluid. For example, when asked if her character is part of the IMF, Atwell said she couldn't really answer that because she's not really sure herself, and not in a deceptive way. Adding even more mystery, McQuarrie said that anything Atwell discusses about her character on the episode could just as easily change in the future, because they're always making changes. But McQuarrie said her character would certainly showcase "a very different side of Hayley."

Mission: Impossible 7 is currently slated to theaters on November 19, 2021, and Mission: Impossible 8 will follow the next year on November 4, 2022.