Fresh off the smashing success of last year’s Brad Bird-helmed Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it appears that Paramount and Tom Cruise are eager to get things moving on the fifth entry in the franchise. The template of the series has always been that a new director steps in each time and puts a new spin on the espionage-centered conceit, and it looks as though the director of the next entry will indeed be someone new to the franchise: Christopher McQuarrie. Hit the jump for more.
Per Deadline, Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams are keen on bringing in McQuarrie to helm the next installment of the franchise. McQuarrie and Cruise have been close collaborators for years, as he’s penned the screenplays for Valkyrie, the upcoming All You Need Is Kill, and the now-defunct Top Gun 2, and he recently directed Cruise in the book series adaptation Jack Reacher. That film doesn’t open until this December, but apparently Cruise and Abrams are very happy with the results as they’ve settled on McQuarrie as their guy for Mission: Impossible 5.
Screenwriters will be brought on to the project before McQuarrie is officially set as the director, but M:I 5 is a top priority for Paramount after the nearly $700 million worldwide gross of Ghost Protocol. Bird delivered what is arguably the best entry in the franchise to date, so McQuarrie has some big shoes to fill. He did some uncredited screenplay work on Ghost Protocol and penned the upcoming actioner The Wolverine, so he’s not a stranger to crafting big budget material.
It’s tough to judge whether McQuarrie is a good fit for the franchise given that his only other directorial work is the 2000 film The Way of the Gun, but we’ll have a better idea of what to expect once Jack Reacher hits theaters next month. McQuarrie is also developing an adaptation of the Jack Ryan spinoff Without Remorse for Paramount as well, but one assumes Mission: Impossible 5 takes precedence over that property.