Esai Morales Is Replacing Nicholas Hoult as 'Mission: Impossible 7' Villain

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Esai Morales, Nicholas Hoult
Frazer Harrison and Marilla Sicilia via Getty Images

Whether they wanted to accept the mission or not, replacements have been made to the cast of Mission: Impossible 7: Nicholas Hoult is out and Esai Morales is in as the film's villain, ET can confirm.

According to Deadline, the replacement is a scheduling "conflict with another commitment" that Hoult has, following Mission: Impossible 7's production shutdown in February amid the ongoing global pandemic. When production resumes, Morales will step into his role.

ET spoke with Hoult earlier this month but he gave no indication that he was stepping back from his M:I duties. "[We're] just kind of hanging out waiting," he said of when shooting would start up again, but added how much he loved doing fight training and stunt work for the film.

"It's a franchise that I've loved since I was a kid," he told ET of what it meant to him to be cast in the series. "I'm obviously a fan of Tom [Cruise] and [director] Chris McQuarrie and what they do and their approach. They're so dedicated to their craft and created the best movies possible."

Morales, meanwhile, is fresh off How to Get Away With Murder -- which wrapped its final season in May -- and previously appeared on such shows as Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles and Netflix's Ozark.

Mission: Impossible 7 was originally set to open in theaters on July 23, 2021 but has since been redacted to Nov. 19, 2021, with the Fallout cast returning alongside franchise newcomers Shea Whigham, Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff. Mission: Impossible 8 will now open Nov. 4, 2022.

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