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.]
PARAMOUNT PICTURES TO MAKE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IV:
TOM CRUISE & JJ ABRAMS TO PRODUCE; CRUISE TO STAR
Film slated for release Memorial Day 2011
HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 9, 2010) – Paramount Pictures announced today that it is making “Mission Impossible IV.” The film, which will be produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions and will star Cruise, will be released Memorial Day weekend 2011.
“Tom and J.J. are great talents and we are excited to be working with them to re-launch this legendary franchise,” said Paramount Pictures Chairman & CEO Brad Grey.
Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec are attached to write the script, from an original idea by Cruise and Abrams.
The studio, Cruise and Abrams are in now the process of identifying a director for the film.
Abrams’s last project with Paramount was “Star Trek,” which he produced and directed. The film grossed $385 million globally. Cruise’s “Mission Impossible” franchise has grossed over 1.4 billion globally.
“Mission Impossible IV” will be co-financed by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions.
Cruise is represented by CAA. Abrams, Applebaum and Nemec are represented by WME.
About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company’s labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.