Confirmed: Tom Cruise will return as Ethan Hunt in 'Mission Impossible IV'
Hollywood is strange town where one day your friend is your enemy and the next day your enemy is your business partner. Almost four years after Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone claimed Tom Cruise would "never work" with Paramount Pictures again, the longtime star will return as Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible IV."
The studio confirmed today that Cruise will star and co-produce the fourth installment of the big-screen franchise along with "Mission: Impossible III" director J.J. Abrams. The film will be released Memorial Day weekend, 2011. That currently puts it up another against the highly anticipated sequel, "The Hangover 2." In theory, the fourth "PIrates of the Caribbean" movie will open the weekend before and "Kung Fu Panda 2," another Paramount distributed film, is set for the week after. Look for "Panda" to move later in June.
In a press release, studio Chairman and CEO Brad Grey, who broke Cruise's longstanding production pact with Paramount, said, “Tom and J.J. are great talents and we are excited to be working with them to re-launch this legendary franchise."
Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec are attached to write the script, which will be based on an original idea by Cruise and Abrams. There was some thought to re-booting the entire franchise, but the studio seems to have gone the safer route for now.
The studio, Cruise and Abrams are now on the lookout for a director to help the project.
Cruise will next appear on the big screen alongside "Vanilla Sky" co-star Cameron Diaz in the action comedy "Knight and Day" July 2.