Renner & Cruise to Co-Star in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4
It was announced on Thursday that Paramount has closed a deal for Jeremy Renner (THE HURT LOCKER) to star opposite Tom Cruise in the untitled pic, which director Brad Bird begins lensing this fall. Renner will play as big a role as Cruise. According to Variety, the next film in the series won’t be called Mission: Impossible IV. It’s possible that the title won’t even include the familiar moniker (much as Christopher Nolan’s Batman sequel was simply titled “The Dark Knight”).
The film will be in theaters on December. 16, 2011.
Here’s the story as was first reported by DHD:
Paramount Pictures has chosen Jeremy Renner to infuse new blood in its MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. Renner, the Oscar-nominated star of THE HURT LOCKER, will star alongside Tom Cruise in the fourth installment of a franchise that will begin production in the fall. Brad Bird is directing and Cruise is producing with JJ Abrams.
The studio has struggled to find the right co-star to play an operative opposite Cruise, and one factor was to selecting an actor who could potentially carry the series, should Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character not continue to be the emphasis. While Cruise is expected to return for a fifth installment, production chief Adam Goodman wanted a guy who could grow into a leading man in his own right. Actors like Tom Hardy and Star Trek’s Chris Pine were considered, but were booked. The studio planned to test a group of young actors later this week, and Deadline spent all day going back and forth with the studio over candidates Kevin Zegers, Christopher Egan and Anthony Mackie, the latter of whom starred with Renner in The Hurt Locker. Deadline eventually posted a story about those actors, but it was clear that Paramount wasn’t sure what it was going to do. Those tests have been canceled. Goodman, sources said, felt Renner “has a Daniel Craig quality” that the studio chief liked.
It is the second major role for Renner coming out of his turn as the bomb dismantler in the Oscar-winning THE HURT LOCKER. The 41-year old Renner also will star in Marvel Studios’ The AVENGERS, playing the role of Hawkeye in that star-studded superhero ensemble that will be directed by Joss Whedon. Paramount is expected to release that film under its distribution deal with Marvel Studios, made before the company was acquired by Disney. Renner will next be seen in the Ben Affleck-directed THE TOWN, the GK Films-produced drama that Warner Bros. opens September 17.