Coming off his Oscar nomination for his performance in The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner is unsurprisingly high in demand. He has The Town coming out soon where he co-stars with Ben Affleck; he’s going to play Hawkeye for Marvel Studios in more than one of their movies and now, he’s going to co-star with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 4.

Tom Cruise wants this project to happen and he wants it to be big. He started off on the right foot by bringing back J.J. Abrams to produce and two weeks ago Cruise took a paycut and will only earn his share off the back-end profit of the film. Now he’s assembling a very talented cast.

Mission: Impossible franchise veteran Ving Rhames was confirmed to return in M:I IV two weeks ago and chances are that Simon Pegg will be as well since we heard that he was in negotiations back in July.  Throw in the possibility of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace possibly having a part to play and now Renner signing on, and the fourth installment of Cruise’s spy franchise is coming together nicely.

It’s been speculated previously that the studio would be looking to pass the Mission: Impossible series on to a younger replacement and Deadline reports that this is why they were having a tough time deciding on who would co-star with Cruise in Mission: Impossible 4. This is also why we heard yesterday that young actors Christopher Egan (Resident Evil: Extinction), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) and Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead) were set to screentest with Cruise but that’s no longer happening.

Instead, they went the route of established star and while they showed interest in Star Trek’s Chris Pine and Inception’s Tom Hardy, both were booked and they went for the older Jeremy Renner who also has the star power. Deadline also explains that Cruise will most certainly be back for a Mission: Impossible 5 but if the character he plays, Ethan Hunt, is not the main character, Renner can lead the series forward.

In my books, Renner can do no wrong. He can play the perfect hero, the perfect villain and/or the perfect action star so I’m now very excited about seeing him share the screen with Cruise in their next spy adventure.

With this and his role as the bow and arrow wielding archer Hawkwye in The Avengers, Renner is continuing his streak of playing likable bad-ass characters as he did so well in S.W.A.T., 28 Weeks Later and The Hurt Locker.

Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Keep reading Screen Rant for more Mission: Impossible 4 news. M:I IV shoots in the Vancouver, Prague, Dubai and parts of the U.S. for a December 16, 2011 release.

Source: Deadline