Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We have known that Tom Cruise would be getting his hands dirty in a fourth Mission: Impossible film for some time now. Before any plot or characters were announced for the movie the 47 year-old actor was initially signed on to an executive producer role along with JJ Abrams. Now Cruise will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in the fourth installment. But Abrams, director of Mission: Impossible 3, will not be back in the director's chair.

Early speculation upon the announcement of another M:I film was that Cruise would take on a producing role and make a small appearance as a mentor-like figure while passing the torch to a new unstoppable secret operative. With Cruise returning as the unflappable Ethan Hunt it begs the question: Will audiences spend money to see Tom play this role again?

Cruise is definitely on the last leg of his career and is losing believability as the secret agent type. Audiences have lost favor with Cruise in recent years because of his disrespect for couches and love for Scientology. The script composed for this fourth project better be like well written poetry (not literally). In my opinion, a clever script will be the only thing that will motivate audiences to gravitate to showings of Mission: Impossible 4. Cruise is certainly not a big enough force to do it himself anymore.

Abrams hired Alias writers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec to formulate what Cruise and Abrams coined, "a really cool adventure for the fourth installment." Last reports from January were that Nemec and Applebaum were well into the second act of the script.

There is no doubt in my mind the first Mission: Impossible is one of the better movies ever made. John Woo's sequel was laughable, and the third film reinvigorated the franchise with Phillip Seymour Hoffman flourishing as one of the best on screen villains I have ever seen.

Hoffman made the third movie memorable and Cruise played an honorable supplementary role (even though he was the main character). Without a dynamite performance from an antagonist like Hoffman or a script like the first film this newest step for the M:I franchise could prove to be a disappointment.

Filming is set to begin Summer of 2010 and a tentative release date is slated for Memorial Day 2011. On Memorial Day a year from now, will audiences be checking out the newest adventure from Ethan Hunt? With production set to begin this summer, the pressing question is: Who should direct now that Abrams is out of the running?


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