J.J. Abrams Not Directing Mission: Impossible 4

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

J.J. Abrams, now one of the big guns in Hollywood, was integral in making Mission: Impossible III not only a success, but a good movie – something we needed after M:I:II.

Over the last year we’ve heard rumblings that Tom Cruise was planning the inevitable fourth installment. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that Cruise had asked Abrams to join him once again to make Mission: Impossible IV. With those two on board, the ball quickly started to roll and Abrams hired the writers in the summer to pen the screenplay.

The one thing we were still unsure of however, was whether or not Abrams would direct again.

The last update we heard from Abrams was from last month when spoke about Star Trek 2 and M:I IV – he said only this:

“It’s being written right now by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum… We’re hoping to get it soon, like by the end of the year.”

There was still no confirmation on whether or not Abrams would take the captain’s chair for the second time in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Fast forward to now where J.J. interviewed with MTV News and revealed that he’s probably not going to be directing.

“I’m producing with Tom… My guess is, given other things, that I will not be directing the movie.”

I liked Abrams’ take on M:I and while I’m a tad disappointed he won’t be directing, he will still be involved in the creative process. He’ll likely be busy with his other upcoming projects, not the least of which is Star Trek 2 which he may or may not direct so I’m interested to see who he and Tom Cruise pick to direct Mission: Impossible IV.

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  1. I love the Mission: Impossible movies and thought that M:I 3 was very good. My favorite part of 3 was Philip Seymour Hoffman! So, I am hoping they have another bad guy worthy of surpassing Davian!

    As for J.J. Abrams not Directing. It’s disappointing, but not that much. Maybe Spielberg could take over? Him and Tom Cruise have worked together before on War of the Worlds and Minority Report. Both of which I personally enjoyed a lot. Just watched Minority Report again and I could definitely see Spielberg taking over Mission: Impossible for the 4th.

    I’m not so sure I like the idea of a younger character taking over the Franchise though. I couldn’t really picture anyone but Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt as the main character.

  2. Im sorry, but MI:3 was a total disaster of a movie that felt so far removed from the first 2 films that i was in a state of shock when i left the cinema.

    I had no real problems with Abrams directing, the guy is a serious talent as Star Trek has proved, but i thought MI:3 was really bad.

    MI:2 on the other hand, which is strangely reviled by many, I think is one of the best action flicks its time. I thought Dougray Scott stole the show as the villain, and Tom Cruise did a decent job too, the story was believable and so was the love interest in the form of the delectable Thandie Newton.

    But the first film will never be surpassed in my eyes, I remember seeing it on opening weekend and being very confused, the plot was baffling to me until i was older. Mission Impossible had great action, an amazingly intricate plot, and one of Tom Cruise’s best acting roles. Remember the shock of finding out Phelps was the villain??? Nothing in either sequel has lived up to that, proves the law of diminishing returns is true.

  3. @DrSamBeckett

    “proves the law of diminishing returns is true.”

    Only with you it seems.

    MI1 was good, but it’s overly complicated plot shouldn’t really be seen as a good thing.

    As for MI2, as mindless action films go, yeah, good to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but it is not a good movie. The great thing abut Mission Impossible, both the films and the TV show, is that the missions were always undertaken by the team. MI1 had that, MI3 had that in spades, Ethan always needed his team, but in MI2 they were superfluous characters and it was essentially the Tom Cruise show. And lets not forget the over the top John Woo Action(tm) and terrible acting. I know Dougray Scott is capable of great things, but that character was just laughable.

    MI3 brought the franchise back to a place where it was more real and more fun, it brought back a spark that was missing in MI2. This is why people loved it so much.

  4. Mission Impossible was a poorly directed, atrociously written film & the two sequels have been treading water in trying to recapture the sombre ambience of Brian De Palma’s original. As DrSam says, it’s the law of diminishing returns – & it’s about lining pockets, not making good films

  5. …sorry, that was meant to read “Mission Impossible THREE was a poorly directed, atrociously written film…”

  6. I found MI3 deliberately complicated plot, and the non reveal of the main plot device, to be incredibly distracting for me as an audience member and therefore alienated me from any enjoyment from the film.

    I will say the action sequences were well handled, but another great letdown came from not caring about any of the newly introduced and instantly forgettable characters, it seemed there was no real threat. I thought PSH would have been an excellent villain, but he was reduced to a snarling pathetic charactature of a poor James Bond villain very quickly.

    it was a massively missed oppurtunity, while MI3 may have reinvigourated the franchise financially, it killed it for me. But that is, as always, a personal opinion.

  7. What killed this franchise for me was Tom Cruise. He’s not an action star.

    He’s a joke.

  8. Well, I’m in the minority (again) because I really liked MI2. I liked all 3 movies but I felt MI3 was the worst of them all. I guess I just don’t have much style.

  9. @DrSamBeckett

    You’re not the only one to hate the fact that the Macguffin was never revealed, but that tends to be the thing that splits people. To me, I thought it was perfect that we not know, the movie wasn’t about that, it was about the characters. Hunt never cared about what the thing was, only that he needed to get it to save his wife. Much like what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, we never needed to know. But again, that thing has split a lot of people across the board.

  10. Seriously people. MI3 was fantastic. If you didn’t think it was as good as the first one, then so be it, the first one’s great, too. But come on. Claiming MI2 is better than MI3? Really??

    MI2 was a completely mindless action film that, yeah, had a couple good stunts, but also had some really ridiculous take-you-right-out-of-the-movie kind of stunts and laughably bad acting.

    And the fact that the MacGuffin was never revealed is no reason to hate the movie. Like Joshi says, WHAT the thing is wasn’t important. The movie was about the characters, that’s what made it so good. The fact that Abrams isn’t directing is really disappointing, because he had a huge hand in making the film so successful.

  11. Can we all just be agreed that J.J. Abrams teaming again with “Alias” writers will be at least good enough to tune into?

    Remember how good “Alias” was? J.J. is going into a genre he knows well, which is why Tom Cruise asked him to be involved in “Mission Impossible: 3.” A good spy movie is more about the characters than the explosions.

    “Alias” episodes may have ended on cliffhanger action scenes, but they were quickly resloved within the first ten minutes, or sooner, of the next episode. It is character development that drives a story.

    That is what makes “Mission Impossible: 3″ a better movie than “Mission Impossible: 2.” The character development.

  12. MI1 I don’t really remember but I remember thinking it was just ok.

    MI2 was freakin atrocious. All of the typical retarded John Woo BS was there;

    Protagonist has long straight hair: check
    Protagonist wears sunglasses a lot or all the time: check
    Protagonist wears long trench coats: check
    Guns never run out of ammo: check
    Dual wielding guns: check
    WAY overuse of slow motion: check
    White doves flying (in slow motion): check
    Motorcycles: check
    Ridiculously fake fight scenes: check

    Please, I stay away from anything that moron John Woo does for a reason. MI3 was much better than the first two in my opinion. Hope they get a good director on board…

    I bet if you edited all of the retarded slow motion in MI2 to play at normal speed the movie will be like 40 minutes long, LMAO!! :-D

  13. Oops, forgot to subscribe.

  14. I find it fascinating that so many people have so many different opinions on the 3 films. I didn’t see the third one since so many like John ‘kahless’ Taylor and the critics disliked it.

    I’m with 790 though, Tom Cruiser just doesn’t do it for me. He’s NOT an action star. (Even though Minority Report rocked)

  15. @JessSayin

    MI3 has a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, most critics seemed to like it.

    I think one of the main reasons people may not have liked it was because it had a much more personal story and the whole “save the world, complete the mission” thing wasn’t the main storyline. Personally I prefer that, but when compared to the first two, where it was all “the mission is the most important thing”, it was different and possibly people didn’t like that.

  16. @ JessSayin,

    The third one is good and you should see it.

    @ DrSamBeckett,

    I think you mean the second movie was far removed from the first – entirely different style of movie and action. The third one fit nicely with the first, even with explaining the masking process.

  17. lmao and totally off subject..

    tom cruise is standing right next to him right.. thats not an illusion ??

    he be a tiny man

  18. also it seems like ethan hunt is the next rocky balboa lol

  19. every1 of de palma,john woo, jj abrahams all have their own signature style
    those who curse john woo must know that he is the numero uno in action movies…all “matrix” & wanted belong to the genre of ” bullet ballet” which he introduced to the world.



  20. @”Roger Ebert” (yeah, okay)

    I don’t think anyone here was knocking John Woo’s abilities with action films, he’s made some good ones and some bad ones. But even if studio intervention stopped Mission impossible 2 from being as great as it could have been in his hands, that doesn’t stop it from being the worst of the three (in many peoples eyes).

  21. @Joshi

    I am knocking John Woo. He might have “invented” a new style, but then he does the same old stuff over and over and over and over. I understand the whole concept of a “signature style” but his relies heavily on gimmicks. And while those gimmicks were cool back when they were new, once they’re no longer new, they are simply gimmicks. A good director is one who is dynamic and who is a good story teller. He seems to only have one trick up his sleeve to where when you see him attached, you can almost guess how the movie will go.

    Frankly, I can’t stand his whole “ultra cool” protagonist thing, it’s annoying.

  22. @Ken J

    I actually agree, he isn’t a very versatile film maker, and I certainly don’t agree that he’s “the best action director” because… well he’s not. But I would like to say, Red Cliff was actually pretty good film and didn’t really fit the whole John Woo style much at all, it was somewhat refreshing.

    But like you, I wasn’t a huge fan of the “super cool protagonist” thing. In Mission Impossible 2, Hunt could pretty much do no wrong, in MI3, he was more clumsy and overall, more human. I’m not the biggest fan of Woo (I don’t even idolise Face/Off like some do, it’s a good movie, but I can think of a dozen better actioners alone), but my point above was simply that, whether he is a good director or not wasn’t what we were talking about, we were simply saying MI2 was pretty much the worst Mission Impossible of them all.

  23. Yah, MI2 was pretty atrotious. MI3 was definitely the most believable, character-wise.

    My favorite action directors are still James Cameron and Martin Campbell. In my opinion those two have mastered crazy intense action without sacrificing great story and characters… But that’s my opinion.