Pegg is one of multiple franchise vets returning for Mission: Impossible 7 alongside Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby and Henry Czerny, who is making his first appearance since the original film. The sequel will also mark the franchise debuts of Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, Rob Delaney, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Mark Gatiss, Charles Parnell and Marcin Dorociński, amongst others. Following a variety of COVID-related delays, production on Mission: Impossible 7 wrapped in September 2021 and while those behind the film have to keep mum on its specifics, one star has an interesting story about how he learned of a major element of the sequel.
In a recent interview with Collider, Simon Pegg shared some insight for the highly anticipated Mission: Impossible 7 and 8. When asked how long he knew the titles for the sequels would be Dead Reckoning, Pegg revealed he hilariously discovered them through the trailer released a couple of months ago and texted writer/director Christopher McQuarrie to ask about it. See what Pegg said below:
"Do you know what? I found out on the day of the trailer and not from Chris McQuarrie. I found out from the trailer. No, no one told me. So I texted McQ and was like, 'Dead Reckoning? Were you going to tell us that at some point?' I heard it was going to be something else, but I like that. I like that because it reminds me of what ... Land of the Dead was originally called Dead Reckoning. So finally, I get to be in a film called Dead Reckoning."
As Pegg recalls, George A. Romero's Land of the Dead underwent a difficult development cycle with its title, as the legendary filmmaker clashed with original studio 20th Century Fox over their desire to name it Night of the Living Dead instead of Dead Reckoning, as Romero wanted. Romero later learned that the motivations for the studio's naming debate stemmed from their desire to own the rights to the franchise, resulting in Romero departing and working with Universal Pictures instead on the project. Though it's unclear why Romero ultimately settled on Land of the Dead instead of Dead Reckoning, it seems likely it stemmed from the studio's desire to easier market it as being part of his Living Dead franchise.
Pegg made a cameo in Land of the Dead alongside his frequent collaborator and friend Edgar Wright as Romero had fallen in love with their work on Shaun of the Dead the year prior. Given the fast-paced nature of Mission: Impossible 7 and 8's productions, it's understandable that a final subtitle may not have been provided to Pegg or his co-stars while shooting, though Pegg did indicate it fits nicely with the theme of the films. Only time will tell how it resonates with the sequel when Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One hits theaters on July 14, 2023.