Looks like we have some good (and possibly bad) news for fans of the Mission Impossible franchise. Mike Fleming at Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Paramount and Tom Cruise have indeed put away their past squabbles in order to pave the way for a fourth Mission Impossible film starring Cruise as Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt. The possibly bad news? MI3 director J.J. Abrams will not be captaining the ship this time out.
Deadline reports that Abrams will be producing alongside the leading man, but that the studio is actively looking for a director to hire. I suppose that means Abrams hasn't been ruled completely out - who knows, he may fall in love with the project and hop back into the directors chair - but it's not likely he'll return in that capacity. We do have two more names confirmed for the project though: writing duo Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. The pair may not be all that well known on the cinema front, but fans of the small screen should recognize both as writer/producers on a number of television shows, including the Abrams-produced, spy-loving Alias.
There's no confirmation at this stage as to whether or not any previous cast members will be returning, but if they're keeping the streak going by bringing back Cruise they may as well bring back Ving Rhames for him to play off. Beyond that, however, the only other major bit of news is that Paramount will be shooting this summer for a Memorial Day 2011 release.
But what say you? Are you glad to see Tom Cruise reentering the IMF fold? Or would you rather see a franchise return follow the current Hollywood trend of flat-out reboot with a new cast?