After Tom Cruise was booted off the lot by Sumner Redstone last month it seemed the Mission Impossible franchise was no longer on Paramount’s front burner. MI:III director JJ Abrams was signed this summer to a long term deal with Paramount, but his first film was to be Star Trek XI. Then there were a few rumblings from the Paramount and Cruise/Warner camps that maybe a Cruise MI4 was possible. Now the new hot rumor burning up Hollywood is that Paramount want the series to continue, but now with Brad Pitt. The original report in This Is London states that Pitt would play a new character and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will be ‘retired’. The report throws around some gigantic numbers related to the project, that would make Pitt the highest paid star in history. Paramont has recently signed a deal with Pitt’s production company Plan B, and he is certainly a bankable name. If the report is true (something others have not been able to confirm) and Paramount want to keep the MI:III cash register ringing, the obvious question for us is: what about Abrams?
If they want the Abrams team, can Para wait for Trek XI?
Paramount clearly love JJ and his team’s work in MI:3, so it is reasonable to assume they would want them involved in MI:4. If that happens, what impact would it have on Star Trek XI. MI:3 and Star Trek XI so far share Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and Giacchino, and it is reasonable to assume Abrams will be bringing in more MI:3 people as the film goes into production. Paramount has been willing to work around Abrams schedule in the past, they delayed MI:3 for a year just so Abrams can get his ABC show Lost up and running. Lets hope that Paramount can wait for JJ to finish reviving that other franchise…Star Trek.
UPDATE: Talked to a source inside the Paramount and was told that the This Is London story is ‘total fiction’. So perhaps we are back to the possibility that Cruise will slink back for another go as Ethan Hunt, but such a deal could take quite a long time to work out with all the egos and dollars involved.