Paramount PicturesIt looks like Ethan Hunt isn't ready to retire to a desk job just yet.
Tom Cruise will run, jump, shoot, crash through glass and maybe even scale another ridiculously tall building at least one more time as he's officially signed on to produce and star in "Mission: Impossible 5."
A writer and director for the project has yet to be announced, though all signs point to Christopher McQuarrie, who recently worked with Cruise on this past holiday season's most underappreciated offering, "Jack Reacher." In fact, McQuarrie tweeted that he was "deciding to accept" the "M:I-5" directing gig this past February, though there's since been no official follow-up.
Back in November, Deadline reported that Cruise and co-producer J.J. Abrams were interested in McQuarrie taking over the "M:I" franchise, which is a top priority for Paramount after the Brad Bird-directed "Ghost Protocol" earned a global box office take of $700 million. At the time, the studio was excited about how well "Jack Reacher" turned out, which ended up being a modest hit with critics and, while it underperformed domestically, went on to score a worldwide box office take of $216 million ... enough for Paramount to greenlight another Jack Reacher movie.
McQuarrie and Cruise have worked together on several projects recently, with the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Usual Suspects" penning "Valkyrie" and doing a few passes on Cruise's upcoming "All You Need Is Kill" and the now-defunct "Top Gun 2." He also wrote the screenplay for "Jack Reacher," adapted from Lee Child's novel "One Shot."
We may have grown indifferent to him stateside but Cruise is still a major star overseas: "Jack Reacher" earned a sequel thanks to foreign box office, and "Oblivion," which was in no way a good movie, managed to earn $220 million worldwide and counting. Cruise is also set for more international spy games -- and a potential new franchise -- as he'll be playing the lead role in the long in-development big screen adaptation of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."
No release date for "Mission: Impossible 5" has been set, though sometime in 2015 seems likely. Heck, that year has already booked a new "Star Wars," a new "Avengers" and a new "Pirates of the Caribbean" -- why not also a new "Mission: Impossible"?