Mission: Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie isn't ready to commit to helming Mission: Impossible 7 just yet. A seventh installment in the '60s TV show turned Tom Cruise blockbuster franchise is expected to be formally green-lit in the near future.

McQuarrie is in a unique position when it comes to this particular big screen property. Not only is he the first director to helm more than a single Mission: Impossible movie (having now called the shots on both Fallout and 2015's Rogue Nation), he's also the first to really serialize the franchise, after previous filmmakers took a more episodic approach with their entries (certain recurring characters aside). Rogue Nation and Fallout form an overarching narrative between them that appears to sets the stage for the final showdown between Cruise's Ethan Hunt, his IMF team, and the villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) in Mission: Impossible 7. Turns out, this is something McQuarrie's collaborators have already brought to his attention.

During his interview with Empire Magazine for their Film Podcast, McQuarrie revealed that even his own editor suggested that Mission: Impossible 7 should be the conclusion to his "trilogy", back during post-production on Fallout. However, the filmmaker wants to take a break before he agrees to making another Mission: Impossible film, especially now that Fallout has been all-but universally declared the best action movie of 2018 by critics and general moviegoers alike:

"[Fallout editor] Eddie Hamilton, every day in the editing room was like, 'Come on, man, it's obviously a trilogy you're coming back, you have to finish it, you didn't kill Lane,' and I was like, 'It's somebody else's problem.' Tom [Cruise] has asked, the studio has asked, and I was like, 'You know maybe I've got an idea for...' and then the reviews came out and I was like, 'Get outta here. Just stop.' I felt so bad for the director of [Mission: Impossible] 6 and I feel even worse of the director of 7. I'd rather have leprosy than be in the position of the person having to confront the pressure of the hyperbole of this movie on their first day of shooting the film. It's too much to confront. I'd need a long nap before I could contemplate it."

At the moment, McQuarrie doesn't have any directorial projects lined up to follow Fallout. It stands to reason that Mission: Impossible 7 won't reach theaters any sooner than 2021 anyway, seeing as Rogue Nation and Fallout had the quickest turnaround between films in the series to date (3 years). That should give the filmmaker time to recharge his batteries and decide if he wants to turn his attention elsewhere or try and outdo his own efforts by tackling a seventh "impossible mission" that could double as not only a conclusion to his trilogy, but a finale to the larger franchise.

Given the intense nature of his stunts on the Mission: Impossible films, it stands to reason that even the near-invincible Cruise might only have one more "impossible mission" left in him, seeing as he just turned 56 back in July. Therefore, it would be all the more fitting for McQuarrie to be the one who sends Cruise as Ethan Hunt riding off (okay, hanging onto a spaceship is more likely) into the sunset, with Mission: Impossible 7. Fallout's solid run at the box office has all but guaranteed that a seventh film in the series will happen, so now it's on McQuarrie to decide if he wants to be in the driver's seat on that one or to pass the figurative face mask on to someone else.