No further details have yet been released about when the filming will take place – or where in the building. But fans of the franchise, Cruise and the ecclesiastical can enjoy guessing: will we see a clandestine conversation in the Poet’s Corner? A chase scene by the Nave? A shoot-out by the Sacrarium?
“Tom is really on one at the moment in terms of going bigger and better. There are literally no compromises. Nothing but the biggest and the best will do,” a source told The Sun.
“So when he wanted to film inside a church for the new Mission film, it had to be Westminster Abbey. They turn down almost every request, so it’s an incredible nod to Tom and to the production team to say yes.
“It will make an extraordinary filming location and sets the tone for just how big this film is going to be. The budget is enormous, of course, but the ambitions are even bigger.”
The Gothic abbey church was founded over one thousand years ago, but has been in its current form since 1519.
Almost every single monarch has been crowned at Westminster Abbey since 1066. Plus it’s the burial site of dozens of royals and Britain’s most celebrated people, including Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, John Milton and Aphra Behn.
So, it’s no real surprise that the abbey has historically been reluctant to allow camera crews in.
The only exception is a 1995 three-part BBC documentary about the abbey, filmed by English playwright Alan Bennett. Though that pales somewhat in comparison to Cruise’s $300 million production.
Westminster Abbey even turned down filming requests from The Da Vinci Code back in 2005, saying that the book was “theologically unsound”.
“We cannot commend or endorse the contentious and wayward religious and historic suggestions made in the book - nor its views of Christianity and the New Testament. It would therefore be inappropriate to film scenes from the book here,” said the abbey at the time.
Tom Cruise is currently on a roll – although, having said that, when is he not? Top Gun: Maverick, the 36-year later sequel to the film that made Cruise famous, pulled in a massive $1.18 billion worldwide since its end-of-May release. It has become the most lucrative film of Cruise’s career.
The filming of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One aka Mission 7 has also finally finished. The production was severely delayed because of the pandemic – but it now has a set release date of July 14 next year.
It will see Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames and Vanessa Kirby reprise their roles, while Esai Morales (Ozark, Titans), Henry Czerny (Revenge, The Tudors) and Hayley Atwell (Avengers: Endgame) join the cast.
Then the eighth instalment, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, is set to be released in 2024.