Earlier today, we reported that Paramount had set December 16, 2011 as the release date for Mission: Impossible IV. However, there was no word if director Brad Bird was officially attached to helm or still in negotiations. Empire now confirms that Bird will install the fourth installment in the franchise. Tom Cruise will return to star and produce with Mission: Impossible III director J.J. Abrams staying on as a co-producer.
Cruise broke the news while speaking to Empire in Los Angeles. I was encouraged that Cruise not only mentioned Bird’s Oscar-winning films The Incredibles and Ratatouille, but what I believe to be Bird’s best film, The Iron Giant. M:I-4 will be Bird’s first live-action feature. 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 his passion project, 1906, made. That film, which is about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, is currently stalled at Warner Bros. due to the studio’s reservations about the budget.
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 a filmmaker who should just get to do what he wants. He has three critically acclaimed movies under his belt with The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille and the last two made lots of bank along. Oh, and he also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Twice.
And yet, his film 1906, which is about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, remains stalled at Warner Bros. According to Blue Sky Disney:
Bird has turned in at least two drafts and is awaiting a decision. Several Bothans [Matt's note: I have no idea what"Bothans" are; if I had to guess, I would say it's an alien race in Star Wars] that I talked to are starting to express doubt that it’ll ever come to pass. Not that it isn’t a great script that would make a great film, but the length and size of the budget make some at Warner very nervous. Think of it as a project of “Titanic” proportions and yes I meant the innuendo.
Yes, but Titanic made lots and lots of money. I know this is Bird’s first live-action feature, but it’s not his animation that makes him brilliant but his storytelling. BSD says that ” this film isn’t in pre-production by the end of 2010, it most likely won’t happen.” Bird should just walk up to the Warner Bros. brass, take out DVD copies of his movies and say, “I made these. Now let me make my damn movie.” Checkmate.