Back in August we heard that Lost stars Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn were shopping around some sort of new series with both of them attached. At the time no details were revealed and the project didn’t seem like it was a sure thing, but Emerson hoped it would be a bit lighter than Lost with somewhat of a focus on age and frailty. Well the potential series has just been given a huge push into becoming a reality as Vulture reports J.J. Abrams, along with Alias collaborators Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, has been pitching a comedic drama that would see the two actors as former black-ops agents. Sold!
Details are sparse but apparently the working title for the series is currently titled Odd Jobs and will no doubt have a sense of humor therein. This is just one of several new TV projects being shopped around town with Bad Robot at the wheel. Abrams just had a mysterious Alcatraz project with Lost writer and executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff picked up at Fox as well as another secretive project with The Dark Knight writer Jonathan Nolan which has since been revealed to be called Person of Interest that just got picked up at CBS. Stay tuned as all these projects from Bad Robot continue to develop.
Simon Pegg is in negotiations to reprise his role as IMF Laboratory Technician Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible IV. THR notes that while the film, which stars Tom Cruise as super spy Ethan Hunt, doesn’t have an official greenlight from Paramount, director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) has been reading actors this week. Were Pegg to return, he would be the only actor in the franchise to return for a sequel other than Ving Rhames (no word yet if Rhames will return for the fourth installment). J.J. Abrams, who directed Mission: Impossible III, will serve as a producer this time around. He also worked on the story with screenwriters Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum.
If Pegg signs on, this will be his third film with Abrams after M:I-III and Star Trek. Pegg will be at Comic-Con this week promoting his upcoming sci-fi comedy Paul, which co-stars Nick Frost (who also wrote the script with Pegg) and centers on two geeks on a road trip who attempt to help an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) return to his mothership.
Paramount Pictures has set December 16, 2011 as the release date for Mission: Impossible IV. No director has been announced, but when we last reported on the film, it appeared that the studio was hammering out the final details with Oscar-winner Brad Bird (The Incredibles). There are no story details on the fourth film, but Tom Cruise will return as Agent Ethan Hunt. J.J. Abrams, who directed the third film, will return as a producer. Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec are attached to write the script, from an original idea by Cruise and Abrams.
Hit the jump for a list of the other films that Mission: Impossible IV will be competing with around its new release date.
Deadline reports that Tom Cruise has decided he’ll light the fuse and return as Special Agent Ethan Hunt for Mission: Impossible 4. Cruise will produce the film with Mission: Impossible 3 director J.J. Abrams with screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec on board to handle the script. Applebaum and Nemec both wrote for Abrams’ Alias and co-created the short-lived series October Road and the U.S. remake of Life on Mars. Abrams and Cruise are currently looking for a director.
As for Cruise, he first played Hunt back in 1996 and is intending to make M:I- 4 his next film, with shooting scheduled to begin this summer for a Memorial Day 2011 release. It will be interesting to see if the result of this outing will create the same animosity the third one created between Cruise and Viacom (Paramount Pictures’ parent company) head honcho Sumner Redstone over the third film’s lackluster box office. Even if it does, it’s good to know that folks can bury the hatchet if they’re also digging for more money.
Cruise will next be seen alongside Cameron Diaz in James Mangold’s Knight and Day, which is set to hit theaters on July 2nd. [UPDATE: Paramount has sent out a press release on Cruise's return to the franchise. Hit the jump to check it out.]