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Mission: Impossible 8 Filmed A Huge Tom Cruise Running Sequence In London, But Is It Actually A Flashback?

 Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible.
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible.

As the 2024 movie schedule starts to sprint further into action, it’s hard not to think about how another one of Mission: Impossible 8’s release dates will be passing us by this June. One can’t rush the sort of enterprise that co-writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and star/producer Tom Cruise engage in with these movies.

However, according to some recent set photos, that’s exactly what Ethan Hunt is doing thanks to some nighttime sprinting for the camera. This has led me to think the franchise star has been spotted shooting what could be an important flashback scene that ties into what we saw in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning. Let me explain.

Tom Cruise runs down a candlelit hallway in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning.
Tom Cruise runs down a candlelit hallway in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning.

The Details Of Tom Cruise’s New Mission: Impossible 8 Running Scene

Photos captured by The Daily Mail put the Mission: Impossible star right on the famed Westminster Bridge for a night shoot on his latest. So naturally, we can’t show those shots, as that would get me in as much trouble as stealing the IMF NOC List.

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It’s not too much on display on first blush, but really digging into the details, I think I’ve got an idea what’s going on in this scene. Displaying Tom Cruise running full sprint in London, with much longer hair than we saw in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning’s ending, the man has blood on his shirt and looks rather panicky as a result.

I can’t blame Mr. Cruise, as I think we’d all feel that same way, whether it was our own blood or that of an enemy/unfortunate accomplice. Which brings me to my theory on why this Mission: Impossible 8 scene could be quite important.

Mariela Garriga stands looking worried in a well lit night scene in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning .
Mariela Garriga stands looking worried in a well lit night scene in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning .

Why I Think This Is Part Of Ethan Hunt’s IMF Origins Flashback

If there was ever a time to use one’s Paramount+ subscription for research, this would be it. I say that because back in what used to be known as Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, we saw a flashback to Ethan Hunt’s origins with the IMF. More specifically, we saw how his grudge against Gabriel (Esai Morales) sparked up thanks to the death of Marie (Mariela Garriga), a woman who was with former thief Ethan on the heist that would send him into the service.

We didn’t get to see too much of this back story in Mission: Impossible 7, despite more footage being shot. But the small glimpses we saw did show Tom Cruise with a longer hairdo and in an outfit similar to the one he’s wearing in the photos run by the report sourced above.

After losing Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) to Gabriel in Dead Reckoning, you can be sure that this sore spot is going to be weighing on Ethan’s conscience more than ever. Plus, with his attempt to save his recently-departed IMF compatriot also involving a run of panic, the parallels couldn't be drawn finer.

I could be totally wrong about this Mission: Impossible 8 theory, as we’ve seen that no matter what’s shot on set, it’s the edit that really determines the truth. However, before anyone mentions the Tom Cruise biplane stunt that was previously filmed and shown off to promote Mission: Impossible 7, I've already checked that footage.

From what I'm seeing, Cruise's hair isn't nearly as long and flowy in that crazy stunt as it is in these new shots. So either a new, longer time jump has been built into the next chapter, or we're dealing with even more shadows of the past.

Next summer is when we’ll finally see how The Entity is bested, as Mission: Impossible 8 is set to accept its mission with a theatrical debut set for May 23, 2025. However, if you’re looking to run through the entire history of Mission: Impossible movies in order, you can catch all previous installments streaming on Paramount+.