Mission Impossible 7: Tom Cruise is “pissed” at Oppenheimer

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 7 trailerParamount Pictures

An Oppenheimer vs Mission Impossible 7 showdown is afoot and, according to sources, Tom Cruise is “pissed”.

July 2023 is set to be a massive month for blockbuster hits. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, the seventh movie in the long-running action franchise, sees Tom Cruise reprise his role as Ethan Hunt for more death-defying stunts. 

Shortly after, we’ve got Christopher Nolan’s return to the big screen with the auteur releasing his first movie since Tenet. Oppenheimer is said to be the filmmaker’s most ambitious project yet, telling the story of the titular physicist as he helms World War II’s nuclear Manhattan Project, leading to the development of the atomic bomb. 

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Now, although these movies are worlds apart in terms of their themes and background, it looks like there’s stiff competition between the two – and it’s reportedly all about IMAX. 

Mission Impossible 7 vs Oppenheimer: Tom Cruise is “pissed”

Speaking to Puck, numerous sources close to the situation claim Tom Cruise is “pissed” about the fact that Universal has managed to book Oppenheimer in for all of North America’s IMAX screens when it drops on July 21 – for three weeks. 

This is a bit of an issue for Cruise’s next Mission Impossible flick, given that it drops on July 12. Although Paramount has booked the IMAX cinemas for its week of release, the movie will be nudged out of the way once Oppenheimer drops.

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Mission: Impossible movies lend themselves to the IMAX format thanks to their high-octane action sequences, and it brings in the money too. As the report points out, Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick made a whopping $110 million of its $1.49 billion total from IMAX screenings. 

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However, Christopher Nolan is a pioneer in this field. The filmmaker’s The Dark Knight became the first major Hollywood film to include scenes shot with IMAX cameras, and the same technology was deployed for the creation of Oppenheimer. 

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But, ultimately, Nolan’s epic came out on top due to timing. Mission: Impossible 7 was hit with Covid delays, meaning the release date was pushed back a number of times. In contrast, Oppenheimer confirmed its slot back in 2021, giving Universal plenty of time to book up the three-week run across North America’s IMAX theaters. 

Sources told Puck that Cruise “has been complaining loudly to Paramount executives and others about the IMAX situation,” and has even been “personally calling around to exhibition and studio executives,” in a bid to secure non-IMAX PLF screens for Dead Reckoning.

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How this will play out is yet to be seen, but just in case things weren’t complicated enough, Warner Bros’ Barbie releases on July 21 too. It looks like the battle of the blockbusters is on this summer – we’ll just have to let the box office figures speak for themselves when the movies drop next month. 

You can read more about Mission Impossible 7 here, Oppenheimer here, and Barbie here.