About fifteen visual effects artists have been ordered by Paramount Pictures to stop pre-production work on Mission: Impossible 6, ahead of the shooting schedule’s January start date, which has already been delayed from this autumn. The studio has told the effects team not to resume work until their dispute with franchise star Tom Cruiseover his salary has been resolved.

Different sources blame Paramount and Cruise for the dispute

Deadline reports two different scenarios they’ve received from two different sources suggesting the origin of the dispute.

One suggests that Cruise is demanding a higher salary to match what Universal is paying him for his role in their new reboot of The Mummy. The other suggests that Paramount wants Cruise and his producing partners at Skydance and Bad Robot to lower their rates.

The series is too successful for Paramount to cancel the film

It seems unlikely that Paramount will cancel the Film altogether, given that the fifth instalment, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, made $682.3 million last year, giving the studio enough faith to rehire director/writer Christopher McQuarrie, marking the first time the same director has been used twice in the espionage action franchise, showing they see the series as being in its heyday on a successful roll.

Mission: Impossible is the eighteenth highest-grossing film series of all time, having made almost $3 billion overall worldwide and averaging at over half a billion dollars per film. Paramount will likely be looking to use the next five months to resolve their dispute with Cruise and negotiate a new deal with his agents. If it hasn’t been resolved by January, then all parties involved are very stubborn.

M:I-6 may not be released until 2018

Paramount has yet to set a release date for Mission: Impossible 6, but with these setbacks, and filming delayed until early 2017 with the potential to be delayed even further, there’s every possibility we won’t be seeing Ethan Hunt’s sixth globetrotting adventure until at least 2018.