Ethan Hunt has little more than a year and a half to figure out how to turn the impossible into a possibility, as Paramount Pictures has announced that “Mission: Impossible IV” will hit theaters nationwide December 16, 2011, just in time for Christmas.
The upcoming fourth installment in the”Mission: Impossible” franchise will be directed by “Incredibles” and “Iron Giant” director Brad Bird, the filmmaker’s first time in the captain’s chair for a live-action feature film. Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec wrote the script based on an original idea from star Tom Cruise and produ cer J.J. Abrams. Abrams previously helmed the series’ third outing in 2006, which marked his debut as a movie director.
“Mission: Impossible 4” will be going up against the third “Alvin and the Chipmunks” feature on the weekend of the 16th. The only other picture current slated for release in that timeframe is Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” on Dec. 23. Both tentpoles are being distributed by Paramount so even if “Tintin” is just for kids, it may be too close for comfort for both releases (let alone egos) and “Unicorn” could adjust its release date.
Cruise returns for “Mission Impossible 4” as superspy Ethan Hunt, a highly trained and integral member of the Impossible Mission Force. Over the course of three films, Hunt has contended with surprising traitors, deadly viruses and curiously named weapons of mass destruction. Plot details for the fourth film are currently under wraps.
At the moment, Cruise is the only confirmed castmember of “Mission: Impossible IV,” though he has been joined by Ving Rhames as longtime friend and computer expert Luther Stickell in all three of the series’ previous installments.
Abrams’ upcoming Sci-Fi thriller “Super 8” was also confirmed today for a Summer 2011 release. The “don’t call it a prequel to ‘Cloverfield'” project will fit in to Abrams’ shooting schedule before “Star Trek 2.”
Cruise’s next release is the action comedy “Knight and Day” with Cameron Diaz on June 25.