You know the old saying: when the old career starts to sputter, get ye back to the old franchise. It worked for Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and now Tom Cruise wants to put it to the test. We’ve already known that the former can’t-miss action star will be jumping back into his most profitable franchise, the “Mission Impossible” films with a fourth installment anytime soon, and that time would appear to be this year or next. Variety reports that Paramount has hired writers to pen Ethan Hunt’s return to the big screen.
The writers in question are former J.J. Abrams boys Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, two writers on the producer-director’s ABC spy show Alias. The screenwriting duo will be whipping up a script based on a story cooked up by the two of them and Abrams, so it’s a very good chance that Abrams may return to direct. Or if not, then actively produce, which is pretty good, too.
The last time we saw Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, it was in the Abrams-directed 2006 “Mission Impossible 3”, and the character had retired from the job and was heading off on his honeymoon with new bride Michelle Monaghan. Of course, as we all know, in the spy game you don’t retire until the game retires you. Previous story ideas had Hunt mentoring a group of younger agents, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Cruise is a big star, and I doubt if he wants to hand over the torch to his most successful movie franchise to a bunch of up and comers.
Paramount Pictures is eyeing a 2011 release date for “MI4”.