Anthony Mackie, Christopher Egan and Kevin Zeggers testing for Mission: Impossible 4

Paramount Pictures and director Brad Bird are in the process of testing actors to star alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 4, according to The Wrap. Among the actors the article mentions are Keven Zegers (Frozen, Air Bud), Christopher Egan (Letters to Juliet) and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker). It is unclear if the three are vying for the same role, or if they will comprise a new M:I team. One of the rumors circulating about the fourth M:I adventure is that Ethan Hunt (Tom Curise’s character) would mentor a younger agent (which is code to have somebody bankable support the film in interviews, TV spots, and of course trailers).

For director Brad Bird, he will be transitioning from the field of animation (after The Iron Giant, and Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille) to live-action. He successfully beat out a list of worthy contenders like Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer and Edgar Wright (after Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘s poor performance at the box office Wright could’ve used the boost – but he and Simon Pegg have big plans in store). The sequel is written by the Alias team of Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are expected to reprise their respective roles. Mission: Impossible 4 is currently in development and scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2011.

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