Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Update: The Hollywood trades have confirmed that a fourth Mission Impossible film is being co-produced by JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise at Paramount (which if you know the Abrams history, is a mission: impossible in itself). Paramount is hoping to have the film ready for theaters for 2011 (most likely May, considering the first three films were released during that month). No word on if this will be a reboot or sequel, and no writer has been officially hired for the project. Our original story from June 10th follows.
We’ve heard rumblings for a while now that a fourth Mission: Impossible film is in development. Last we heard. Tom Cruise claimed on a Japanese television show that he was “working on the story right now” and has been “thinking about how to stage a big action sequence in downtown Tokyo.” I just assumed that Cruise was talking out of his behind. And there have even been rumors that the fourth film could be a complete reboot. Well now JJ Abrams confirms to TV Guide that he will be reteaming with Tom Cruise to produce Mission: Impossible 4.
According to Abrams, “Tom and I have come up with a really cool idea we are pursuing.” So it appears there is an actual story idea after all. Has a screenwriter been hired? Not yet. Abrams says that he’s “incredibly honored” that Tom invited him back, and he has not yet committed to return as director.
With the monster hit called Star Trek now unleashed, I wouldn’t expect Abrams to return behind the camera for another chapter of the action spy franchise. He’s probably looking at bigger and better opportunities. I was actually a big fan of Abrams’ M:I-III, and think the drama of the Alias-like flash forward opening is one of the best action film openings of recent years.