Impossible Is Running Out Of Tom Cruise Replacements


  • Mission: Impossible movies have been searching for a replacement for Tom Cruise, but options are limited as he plans to leave the franchise.
  • Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson were considered possible replacements, but both characters have been written out of the series.
  • A Mission: Impossible movie without Cruise may not work due to his star power and the franchise’s reliance on his daring stunts.



For more than a decade now, the Mission: Impossible movies have tried to introduce a new actor to replace Tom Cruise when he retires from the franchise, but the producers are running out of options. Since the original 1996 movie, Cruise has anchored the Mission: Impossible series with his lead turn as roguish IMF agent Ethan Hunt. But it’s only a matter of time before Cruise steps down from the franchise to focus on other projects, and his possible replacements are being increasingly limited.

The two-part Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, which released its first volume earlier this year (the seventh installment in the series overall), was initially planned as a send-off for Hunt that would allow Cruise to depart from the franchise. It seems as though this story is no longer planned as Hunt’s final adventure, but Cruise will want to stop making Mission: Impossible movies sooner or later. When that happens, the producers will need a new lead actor, and they’re quickly running out of options.

RELATED: 10 Candidates To Be Mission: Impossible’s Lead After Tom Cruise’s Exit

Mission: Impossible Lost Its 2 Best Tom Cruise Replacements

Ilsa wearing an eye patch and looking through a scope in Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning

The Mission: Impossible producers have been trying to set up a potential replacement for Cruise as far back as 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. That movie introduced an intelligence analyst character named William Brandt, played by Jeremy Renner. Brandt was clearly set up to replace Hunt in a future movie, but after returning for a brief appearance in the 2015 sequel, Rogue Nation, Renner has seemingly dropped out of the franchise with no plan to reprise his role in the future.

Rogue Nation introduced another possible replacement for Cruise with undercover MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, played by Rebecca Ferguson. Ferguson was great in the role and Ilsa quickly became a fan-favorite character, so she seemed like a natural choice to take over the Mission: Impossible franchise when Cruise steps down. But after appearing in Fallout, Ilsa was killed off in Dead Reckoning Part One. Both of Cruise’s possible replacements as the lead of the franchise are no longer viable.

Would A Mission: Impossible Movie Without Tom Cruise Work?

Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner with guns in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

It’s possible that this is all a moot point, because a Mission: Impossible movie without Cruise might not work. The main selling point of this franchise isn’t its brand name; it’s the daring stunts that Cruise performs for each movie. The series has become an exercise in one-upmanship as Cruise sets out to top the stunts that came before. Even if the producers could find an actor willing to push themselves as far as Cruise in the stunts, they might not have Cruise’s star power.


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