Director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) is in final negotiations with Paramount to direct Mission: Impossible IV starring Tom Cruise. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) was previously rumored for the gig but chose to do 30 Minutes or Less instead. We reported in March that Bird was also under consideration for the job, but now Vulture says that the only detail left to hammer out is Bird’s quote. Vulture explains that since animated films take three years to make, a director’s quote is higher than it would be on a live-action blockbuster film, which can usually be made in a year. Then again, Bird does have a little leverage seeing as he’s won two Oscars, which is two more than anyone else that has directed a Mission: Impossible movie so far.
Hit the jump for my explanation of why they should just pay the man (and do it soon because Paramount has set May 27, 2011 as the film’s release date).
Brad Bird is one of the best directors out there. His feature films to date–The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille–are all classics. He has a gift for storytelling and engaging characters. Bird is also a master of genre. He perfectly channeled Cold War sci-fi for Iron Giant and golden age superheroes for The Incredibles. Mission: Impossible IV would be Bird’s first live-action film but I’m sure he’d be more than up to the task. If he does take the job, I hope he takes a pass at the script. I don’t mean to insult the work of J.J. Abrams, who helped craft the story and will co-produce the flick, or screenwriters Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (ABC’s Life on Mars, Alias), but c’mon: it’s Brad-Freaking-Bird. He can only help.
This could also be a fantastic opportunity for Bird as far as his passion project, 1906, is concerned. The film, which is about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and will also be live-action, has become trapped in development hell due to Warner Bros.’ hesitation about the budget. If Bird shows he can handle a big-budget live-action movie with M:I-IV, it could go a long way to helping him get 1906 made.