Tom Cruise is flashing his best cheesy smile for the cameras, but behind the scenes he’s in a world of stress right now – with the long-awaited, still untitled Mission: Impossible 8 in a disarray, according to a source close to the project.

“When the decision to push Mission 8 a full year on the schedule was made last year, the movie was actually very far along, with 75 percent of it filmed and just one remaining giant action sequence to stage in the U.K., which they’ve only just gotten around to actually shooting in the past several weeks,” the source exclusively tells In Touch. “It’s been an even slower and more confusing process for Tom than the long sections of filming he did for Mission 7 at the height of the pandemic, and Tom’s infamous audio rant recording from that time showed the whole world how stressed he was.”

Now, years after that famous rant, the “tension” on the set of Mission 8 is “another level of complexity.”

“The man has the weight of the world on his shoulders and hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. This is how he deals with adversity. Sure, he can still flash his famous ‘million dollar smile’ when the cameras are rolling but more frequently he’s stone-faced and on edge as he tries to finally bring this production to a close,” the insider adds. “Tom made the deal for back-to-back Mission movies five years ago and the project still has many months of work left before it’s ready to show. I fear for anybody who gets in his way or gets on his bad side between now and next summer, because this is the most stress and adversity he’s ever faced on a production.”

The Top Gun star inked the deal for back-to-back Mission Impossible films in 2019, after the box office success of Mission Impossible 6 the year prior. 

At the time, sources told Variety that the reason for the back-to-back films was “in order to take advantage of the popularity of the series,” as the first film was originally slated for summer 2021 and the second set to release in summer of 2022. 

Christopher McQuarrie – who signed on to write and direct the sequels – confirmed the news via Twitter at the time. Ultimately, 2023’s Mission 7 made 40 percent less at the box office than Mission 6. Mission 8 is slated to release Memorial Day 2025.

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