Months of insinuations and rumors came to a head today when Paramount Pictures formally announced Mission Impossible IV is a “go” with Tom Cruise returning to star/produce and J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot set to co-produce. No real surprise here.
A plot idea for the fourth installment was developed by Cruise and Abrams and has been passed off to screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. Both writers worked with Abrams on Alias and also wrote episodes for the show October Road.
Currently the studio is looking for a director to take over the franchise. The first Mission Impossible film was helmed by Brian De Palma, Mission: Impossible II by John Woo, and Abrams stepped behind the camera on M:i:III. With Star Trek 2 around the corner, Abrams is far too busy to be taking on more directorial duties.
Mission Impossible IV will launch in theaters Memorial Day 2011 where Spider-Man 4 was originally slated to debut before being canned. Instead, Cruise and co. will go head-to-head with The Hangover 2.