Though he took a notable pay cut, Tom Cruise will return to the Mission: Impossible franchise for installment number four come December 2011. Paramount is in the process of firming of Cruise’s support team: Ving Rhames will reprise his role in the franchise as Benji Dunn, M:I3 co-star Simon Pegg is in talks to return, and the studio has met with Swedish sensation Noomi Rapace. Now it looks like Keven Zegers, Christopher Egan, and Anthony Mackie are likewise under consideration for Mission: Impossible IV. More after the jump:
TheWrap is unsure whether the trio is competing for the same role or separate parts, though each is expected to undergo a screen test shortly if they haven’t already. Fresh off his acclaimed supporting role in The Hurt Locker, Mackie likely has the highest profile of the bunch (a great get if you ask me.) Zegers’ recent focus has been in genre fare, like this year’s Frozen or the upcoming bloodsucker drama Vampire. Egan was last seen in the romantic comedy Letters to Juliet, though it’s in our best interest to remember his charismatic turn in the short-lived NBC series Kings.
The age range (25-30) is pretty narrow — particularly between Zegers (25) and Egan (26) — so it’s not unreasonable to think the actors are all up for the same part. The role in question could in fact be the rumored young spy intended to take some of the franchise weight off of Cruise’s shoulders for M:I IV, and transition into a more central role for future sequels. If that’s the case, Mackie has surely proven himself capable, while I have a lot of faith in Egan after Kings. I haven’t seen enough of Zegers’ work to make an informed opinion, but he’s in good company, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
We’re still in the early stages, though, with casting presumably dependent on the quality of the screen tests. With Brad Bird (The Incredibles) at the helm, development appears to be shaping up nicely. Mission: Impossible IV is set to hit theaters December 16, 2011.