Back in June we reported that a fourth Mission: Impossible film set to go in to development. Today, Paramount Pictures has confirmed the news that broke on Deadline Hollywood that Tom Cruise has attached himself to reprise his role as operative Ethan Hunt once again.
The series has always been near and dear to the star, who has also reportedly placed himself once again in the producers chair, along with director of the last installment J.J. Abrams. Since the start, the trend with the series was that a new director would helm each installment, to give them all a fresh feel; and after Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Scarface) took his shot at a script that was criticized as too confusing, John Woo (Hard Boiled, Face/Off) took on the second. While the first film was still successful, the second brought the series to a new plateau, bringing action to the forefront, while still capturing a strong story. Woo’s Mission: Impossible 2 made over $200 million domestically, and made a third part inevitable.
As time passed though, it looked as though a third installment may never take place, even though Cruise constantly hinted at it in interviews, always pushing for it to happen. Finally, six years later, the third Mission: Impossible hit theaters, this time with hot, young director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, TV’s Lost) at the helm. Unfortunately, the release keyed up with a bad year for Cruise, as his personal antics, and the sway of the media, seemed to have turned some of his followers against him. While the story was arguably the strongest, more heartfelt, and most personable of the series, it failed to draw in the numbers of the second film (at least domestically, as it still found an audience overseas that helped the profits roll in) and was considered a flop – at least as far as Tom Cruise standards at the time were concerned.
Though four years later, we find ourselves learning that that memorable theme song will ring in theaters once more. With Cruise’s image back on the rise, and a hopeful looking summer blockbuster in Knight and Day scheduled for release this year (though up against stiff competition with Twlight‘s third installment Eclipse being released on the same day) are things looking good for Mr. Hunt and his fourth outing? Will the choice of the yet-to-be-announced director have an impact? If I was a betting man, I’d say that it’ll be a hit, regardless of the domestic intake; however, I do believe enough time has passed that Mission: Impossible 4 will be one mission that many will accept come Memorial Day weekend in 2011.
Tags: J. J. Abrams, John Woo, Knight And Day, Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise