It’s going to be incredibly tough to top director Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but it appears that Tom Cruise is officially up for the challenge. Cruise has now signed a deal to star in and produce Mission: Impossible 5 for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. There’s no official word on who will be writing and/or directing the next installment of the franchise, but Cruise’s Jack Reacher writer/director Christopher McQuarrie is supposedly in line to take the gig. Hit the jump for more, including a refresher on Cruise’s upcoming schedule.
Per Deadline, Cruise has signed on to star in and produce the fifth Mission: Impossible film. The writer/director of the pic is expected to be announced shortly, and that person (probably McQuarrie) will develop the film with Cruise and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. With the last two installments, Cruise has used the franchise to launch promising filmmakers into the big leagues. Abrams made his feature-directing debut on Mission: Impossible III and Brad Bird made his live-action directing debut on Ghost Protocol.
McQuarrie only has two directorial features under his belt—2000’s The Way of the Gun and last year’s Jack Reacher—and so M:I 5 would certainly be his biggest film yet. Bird’s supremely entertaining Ghost Protocol was arguably the best entry in the series and the highest grossing (its worldwide total stands at nearly $700 million), and so whomever takes on M:I 5 definitely has their work cut out for them.
Cruise is coming off a strong opening for the sci-fi pic Oblivion and has a couple of other tentpoles in his future. He’s developing another Jack Reacher film, he’s set to star in Guy Ritchie’s spy adaptation The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opposite Armie Hammer, and he recently attached himself to Warner Bros.’ sci-fi pic Yukikaze. There’s no timetable for when Paramount wants Mission: Impossible 5 in theaters, but it will likely be sooner rather than later.