Tom Cruise's 'Mission: Impossible 5' Halts Production to Figure Out Ending

Paramount/Courtesy of Everett Collection
Tom Cruise, here in 'Mission: Impossible 3,' also stars in the latest film in the franchise

Director Christopher McQuarrie and an uncredited writer are trying to "get from what they thought was a good place to a more perfect place," says one source.

Paramount has enough confidence in Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible 5 that it moved its release date way up, from Christmas to July 31. But the production recently shut down for a week or so in London because the film's ending was deemed unsatisfactory.

Director Christopher McQuarrie was given the extra time to work out a new and improved finale with a writer friend whose identity remains a mystery and who will neither be paid nor credited.

It's unusual and costly for a big-budget film to halt in the middle of production, especially one with a release date about five months away. While one source claims McQuarrie was "scrambling" to come up with an ending that would work, a Paramount insider puts a more positive spin on the break.

"Chris, Tom and a third person wanted to take a minute to get from what they thought was a good place to a more perfect place," says this person, noting that if the studio had been really concerned, it would not have moved up the release date.

Paramount suffered through more serious third-act problems with its 2013 zombie apocalypse movie World War Z. That film, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster, was shut down and its final third reconceived, with its release date pushed back several times. It ultimately became a hit when it finally reached theaters.

One high-level executive jokes that M:I5 is not in any way seriously behind schedule, saying, "Are you kidding? We made World War Z."

The last film in the Cruise-fronted series, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (released in Dec. 2011), earned nearly $650 million globally, a franchise best.

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