Tom Cruise Shot Down Paramount’s Plan For ‘Days Of Thunder’ And ‘Mission: Impossible’ Shows

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to severe changes to film productions, both large and small, as they try to follow safety guidelines and endure numerous schedule changes. When I think of the film that has been hit the hardest, Mission: Impossible 7 comes to mind, thanks to Tom Cruise’s epic blow-up at his crew early in the pandemic. In a new report, THR, details the many problems Cruise and Co. had on-set across multiple countries due to COVID, and how despite all of that he’s still holding major sway over Paramount, possibly to their detriment.

We’ve heard about a couple of stoppages during production, but this story paints a picture of cutting corners and relaxed safety protocols despite Cruise’s unforgettable tirade. In fact, Cruise himself is said to have been one of 14 people, including director Christopher McQuarrie, who contracted the virus in Abu Dhabi in June 2021. Neither Cruise or McQuarrie were vaccinated at the time.

But even before that, Cruise went down with a mysterious illness in February 2020 while shooting in London. This was a time when Europe was especially hard hit by COVID.

As a whole, the many stoppages and delays have run up quite the tab on the movie’s budget, with costs ballooning to a reported $290M! That’s incredible, especially when you consider Mission: Impossible-Fallout went for $180M.

And yet, Cruise is still holding all of the power over Paramount. Let’s face it, the studio doesn’t have but so many blockbuster franchises on the big screen, and Cruise is by far their biggest star. As such, Paramount has tried to build on his popularity with streaming spinoffs of some of his most recognizable films. Cruise wasn’t having it.

Paramount sought Cruise’s greenlight to do a Mission: Impossible series on Paramount+. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The film franchise is based on the classic TV series that aired on CBS in the ’60s.

They also wanted to do a show based on the Tony Scott-directed race car drama Days of Thunder, which opened in 1990. That project has been “strangled in its cradle”, meaning they approached Cruise about it and he stomped all over it like he did Oprah’s couch.

This isn’t even the end, though. Once Mission: Impossible 7 is done, it’ll be followed pretty quickly by a sequel. If that one costs just as much and Cruise continues to exert so much control over the studio, who knows if this long-running relationship will go much further. What happens if these movies don’t break even?

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.