Tom Cruise Has Only Made 2 Sequels Outside The Mission: Impossible Movies In 42 Years

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In forty-two years, Tom Cruise has only directed two sequels outside of the Mission: Impossible series. In a career spanning the 1980s, Cruise has revisited two roles, similar to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky and Rambo, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones, or Keanu Reeves’ John Wick and Neo. Although he will probably always play Ethan Hunt, the lead character in the hugely popular Mission: Impossible series, until his physical abilities fail him, these other parts represent a departure from that enduring franchise, to which he returns every few years.

Once the Hollywood celebrity believes the tale has been told in a film, he usually doesn’t want to watch it again. However, Cruise’s opinion of sequels was altered by the Mission: Impossible films. Early in his career, eager to uphold his artistic integrity, he was concerned that sequels would mean the end of his reputation. However, the success of playing Hunt meant neither that he would be regarded seriously as an actor nor that the films would become clones of one another. As a result, he made the decision to revisit previous characters he had done; one was met with little acclaim, while the other marked a career comeback and helped to establish the path for Tom Cruise films that are still in need of sequels.

Tom Cruise’s Only Sequels Outside Of M:I Since The ’80s Are Jack Reacher & Top Gun

When Mission: Impossible was released in 1996, a movie based on a television series wasn’t guaranteed to be a hit, and sequels were rarely an improvement on their predecessors, which is The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather: Part II were such surprises. Nevertheless, the films inspired Cruise to make a sequel to Top Gun (1986) and Jack Reacher (2012). While Jack Reacher: Never Go Back was moderately successful in 2016, 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick was a huge box office hit and proved that with the right story, cast, and visual effects, Cruise could be king of the blockbuster again.The Jack Reacher films weren’t as successful as the Top Gun movies for a few reasons; they were based on a book series that came with its own inherent expectations, Cruise didn’t fit the description of the protagonist at all, and they didn’t have the same reverence and nostalgia. The Top Gun films revolved around a character that came to define Cruise as much as he defined Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, whereas there were other Hollywood stars who could have played Jack Reacher besides Tom Cruise and been as good or better, as the Reacher television series is demonstrating.

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Why Tom Cruise’s Recent Movies Haven’t Received Sequels

Recent Tom Cruise movies, such as 2013’s Oblivion, or 2017’s American Made and The Mummy revival, weren’t profitable enough to warrant a follow-up starring role for Cruise. One movie that might see a follow-up is Emily Blunt’s Edge of Tomorrow, which followed Cruise’s soldier as he had to relive the same day in an attempt to halt an extraterrestrial invasion. Production on that project hasn’t begun yet, though, since Cruise is currently occupied with filming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2, which is scheduled for release in 2024.

One of the ways Cruise maintains his artistic integrity is by working with different directions, and making sure that the story is pushed beyond simply being a regurgitation of the original movie. Clearly, he’s content working within the Mission: Impossible sandbox where he has the most creative freedom as well as the most success. However, there are several other very good Tom Cruise films from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s that deserve not only a second look, but the chance to be the recipient of some serious world-building.

 

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