Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tom Cruise to return as Ethan Hunt in 'Mission Impossible 5'

The last time audiences saw super spy Ethan Hunt on screen in 2011, Lalo Schifrin’s iconic “Mission: Impossible” score seemed to be playing him toward the exit. Jeremy Renner’s William Brandt character had breathed new life into the franchise’s fourth installment, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” leading to speculation that the “Hurt Locker” lead would take over the reins from star Tom Cruise.
And in “Ghost Protocol’s” final scene – SPOILER ALERT – Cruise as Hunt is shown wistfully reconnecting with his supposedly dead wife (Michelle Monahan). That's a clear violation of the secret agent playbook if there ever was one.
Then a funny thing happened on Ethan Hunt’s trip out to pasture. “Ghost Protocol” took in more $700 million at the box office – a personal best for Cruise, long one of moviedom’s most bankable stars, as well as a financial high-water mark for the already blockbuster “M:I” franchise.
Now Cruise has signed on to reprise his role as the world-beating IMF agent in a fifth “Mission: Impossible” movie. As reported by Deadline Monday and confirmed by franchise distributor Paramount today, the actor will star in and produce the new sequel, developing the project with “Star Trek: Into Darkness” director-producer J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.
Although Paramount and Skydance Productions (which co-financed and executive produced “Ghost Protocol”) have yet to reveal who will write or direct “M:I 5,” Christopher McQuarrie – who directed last year’s Cruise-starring action adventure “Jack Reacher” and wrote Cruise’s 2008 Nazi thriller “Valkyrie”  – is reportedly the leading contender to direct the new sequel.
McQuarrie would follow in an illustrious line of “Mission: Impossible” directors: Brian DePalma (responsible for 1996’s movie adaptation of the ‘60s TV series), John Woo (“M:I 2”), Abrams (M:I 3”) and animation ace Brad Bird (“Ghost Protocol”).
One message designed not to self-destruct in five seconds: The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has earned over $2 billion globally, to rank among Hollywood’s most successful movie series.

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