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Christopher McQuarrie‘s most recent collaboration with Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, comes out on Blu-ray tomorrow. Almost as if to publicize that fact, both director and star have announced new projects today. Cruise was confirmed for Mission: Impossible 5, which McQuarrie has been rumored to direct for some time. The director, meanwhile, was not part of the M:I 5 announcement, and was announced instead as the director for a remake of the late ’60s espionage thriller Ice Station Zebra. So what gives?

THR reports that Warner Bros. has hired McQuarrie to write and direct the Ice Station Zebra remake. It’s not the strangest thing in the world, but such a remake wouldn’t have been the first thing we would have expected to see as the third directorial effort from McQuarrie. Is this a legit deal, or something being done to leverage a deal for Mission: Impossible 5?

The story sees a US submarine en route to the Arctic, supposedly to assist the team manning British weather research outpost Drift Ice Station Zebra. In reality the mission is oriented around the recovery of an experimental camera laden with photos of US and Russian missile silos. The original film was based on Alistair MacLean’s novel, which in turn was inspired by a real situation from 1959. It starred Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan and Jim Brown, and was a solid success when originally released.

Presumably the new version will be made as a period piece, but we don’t know any specifics. But if McQuarrie is soon signed for M:I 5 and this remake quietly moves to the back burner, we wouldn’t be surprised at all.

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