Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is the official Mission: Impossible 7 title, and it might tease Ethan Hunt’s death in the upcoming sequel. Tom Cruise’s time as Ethan Hunt is coming to a close with Paramount’s plan for just two more Mission: Impossible sequels. The announcement of the two-part finale sparked speculation about how Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 will end Ethan Hunt’s story, but specific details about the film’s narrative have not been officially released. Just about any information about the sequel beyond casting has been tough to come by, in fact, but now that’s changed.
Although Paramount has been forced to repeatedly delay Mission: Impossible 7 from its original July 2021 release date due to COVID-19 and production complications, anticipation for the sequel has not wavered. Enthusiasm has generally remained high thanks to exciting new cast members like Hayley Atwell, teases of Tom Cruise’s latest crazy stunt, and knowing that the film is in good hands from director Christopher McQuarrie. Paramount finally delivered some more news on Mission: Impossible 7 as part of their 2022 CinemaCon presentation, where they revealed the first bits of footage and confirmed the official title as Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Now that Mission: Impossible 7‘s title is confirmed, the question of what Dead Reckoning means arises. The biggest implication is the potential foreshadowing of Ethan Hunt’s death in Mission: Impossible 7. This has been a major theory surrounding the film and its already announced sequel, especially after reports surfaced that confirmed the plan to use the movies to wrap up Tom Cruise’s time with the franchise. The Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning title certainly implies that death is in the cards for the seventh and eighth installments, and it would make some sense for the series to wrap up with Ethan Hunt making the ultimate sacrifice by Mission: Impossible 8. Tom Cruise has previously said that he doesn’t want Ethan Hunt to die whenever his story concludes, but perhaps that changed once the story for these sequels was hatched.
The choice of Dead Reckoning as the subtitle for the next Mission: Impossible movies could also have a bit of a double meaning. The term “dead reckoning” is commonly used in navigation. It is the process of using a previously known position, speed, direction, and other factors to calculate the current position of a moving object. While the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning title could be literal in its implication that Ethan Hunt will use the technique to find someone on his next mission, there are also some thematic possibilities. The title could support the Ethan Hunt dying theory by looking at how many times he’s escaped death before while saving the world, but he might not get so lucky in his future mission.
Furthermore, the Mission: Impossible 7 title could also provide insights into the story beyond Ethan Hunt’s fate. The word “reckoning” has multiple definitions and can be defined as someone’s judgment, a bill or account, and the punishing of past actions. Christopher McQuarrie has made a point of tying together Ethan Hunt’s story throughout the Mission: Impossible franchise since he took over, so Dead Reckoning could possibly be a sign that dead or past enemies of his are returning to judge or punish Hunt for what happened before. Perhaps this is even why Kittridge is coming back or explains how Henry Cavill’s August Walker/John Lark can return. If the meaning of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One‘s title is closer to the latter, that could still point to a definitive end to Ethan Hunt’s story once Part Two comes out in 2024.
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