MTV caught up with fan-favorite J.J. Abrams the other night at the National Board of Review red carpet and took the opportunity to prod the director/producer/writer about Mission: Impossible IV, specifically its leading man and the story.

There hasn’t been much news on the M:I franchise other than the announcement that J.J. Abrams would be involved, that he wouldn’t be directing, that his Alias writers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec would be penning the script and a rumor of Cruise’s wife Katie Holmes being in the film.

Even though it seems obvious and necessary that Tom Cruise again star as lead character Ethan Hunt for it to work as the fourth installment and for J.J. to be involved, nothing has been confirmed on that front as of yet. J.J,’s responses in the quick chat hint that their plan is to have him involved but to what extent and whether it will happen definitively are still unclear.

Here are J.J.’s vague responses to questions about the story and Tom Cruise (my versions of the questions are used).

So, will Tom Cruise be back?

“The goal would be for that to occur.”

No really. Will he be in the film? I want to know, J.J.

“If I say the words though– I’ve seen what you do… You warp and twist, you make me say things that just break me down… The goal would be for Tom to be in the film.”

As for the story, Abrams won’t give anything away and he’s well-versed in secrecy as we saw with Star Trek and his other works. In his answers, Abram does provide an update for where they are in the script-writing process.

“We’re in the second act of the script. There’s an insanely long outline, it is probably longer than the script. It’s going great… we’re very excited and we’re looking to make that movie.”

So, there you have it. Not too much new but they are working away at the next installment. Expect more on M:I:IV in the not too distance future.

What would you like to see from Mission: Impossible IV?

Source: MTV