Hayley Atwell posted a photo of herself in the driver seat of a stunt car with Tom Cruise riding shotgun behind-the-scenes of Mission: Impossible 7. Atwell, known for her role as Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joined the cast for the seventh installment of the franchise in September 2019. It was also confirmed that she will be in the direct sequel Mission: Impossible 8, which reveals that this will be a long film split into two parts. Tom Cruise will be reprising his role as Ethan Hunt with Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby, and Angela Bassett all returning as well.
Atwell has been training, getting physically in shape for the franchise’s mind-blowing and adrenaline-packed stunts. After the commercial and critical success of the last two installments, Rogue Nation and Fallout, it seems evident that the stunts, and even the film’s scope, will get more elaborate and dangerous. Director Christopher McQuarrie hasn’t revealed any details about Atwell’s character yet, though it can be deduced that it must be an important one if she has already been cast back-to-back in both 7 and 8. Unfortunately, the film’s production underwent shooting delays due to COVID-19 and had to then delay releases for both installments, moving both releases back roughly four months apiece.
Atwell revealed a behind-the-scenes photo on her Instagram that shows herself and Cruise in a stunt vehicle with all the doors removed for shooting. Atwell joked that Cruise was her new “driving instructor.” The photo looks like it’s from a car chase turned car crash scene Atwell and Cruise were shooting in the middle of a busy street in Rome, due to the similarities in outfits, but this has not been confirmed.
In the photo, both Atwell and Cruise seem to be genuinely smiling, enjoying one another’s company on-set, and having one hell of a ride together while shooting the intense action sequences that this franchise requires. Atwell and Cruise have to know when to take a break from the seriousness their roles demand in order to maintain a sense of normalcy and fun because, after all, working on two of the world’s biggest action films back-to-back must be draining. Now that Cruise has a female co-lead in Atwell for the next two films, a first for the Mission: Impossible series which usually rotates out female leads every film, it must be building an intricate and unique dynamic between the two, allowing for a little less monotony on set.
Even though Atwell was merely joking about Cruise being her driving instructor, there seems to be a lot of truth behind that sentiment. Cruise is one of the world’s biggest movie stars and definitely has a breadth of knowledge about filmmaking and acting that Atwell gets a first-hand look at, which will be helpful in her future acting career after these two films wrap. Atwell is quite literally learning from a living legend and Cruise was given the opportunity to have a fresh dynamic on set. Mission: Impossible 7 is set to release on November 19, 2021.