Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec have chosen to embark on an impossible mission. The duo have been hired by J.J Abrams and Tom Cruise to write the fourth installment of Cruise’s hugely successful Mission: Impossible franchise.

Applebaum and Nemec first came to Abrams’ attention when they wrote for his Jennifer Garner-starring television show, Alias. The pair were also behind the U.S. version of Life on Mars.

While no story details have been revealed, it’s believed that the script will be based on a story treatment that Abrams wrote with the two screenwriters.

Abrams had this to say:

“I’ve been looking forward to working with Josh and Andre again for years. Their sense of balance between character and action is wonderful, which I know is hugely important to Tom as well. We’re off to an exciting start, so, as usual, fingers crossed.”

No director has yet been hired – it’s not believed that Abrams will be returning to helm, but if it follows the other films in the franchise it’ll probably go to a director who is something of an auteur. Although I think that I’m being a bit too kind to the Star Trek director by saying that.

The Mission: Impossible film franchise is based on a 1960’s television show created by Bruce Geller. The first film, released in 1996 was directed by Brian DePalma. A sequel by John Woo followed in 2000 and Abrams directed the third installment in 2006.

Following the release of Mission: Impossible 3, Cruise had a very public falling out with Paramount Pictures owner Sumner Redstone because of what Redstone called “behavior unacceptable to Paramount”. The studio then failed to renegotiate Cruise’s longstanding production contract. Mission: Impossible 3 was seen as something of a box office disappointment – it grossed $397 million worldwide compared to the $457 million and $546 million of the first two films.

Following this it was believed that the studio might reboot the franchise with a younger cast or replace Cruise with another A-lister (Brad Pitt was noted at one point). However, earlier in the year it was reported that Cruise and Abrams were working on a new installment of the action franchise.

Keep your eyes on Screen Rant as we bring you more news on Mission Impossible 4.

So is Mission: Impossible 4 a good idea or would you just like to leave the series as a triple disc box set in your DVD collection?

Mission: Impossible 4 is scheduled to be released in 2011.

Source: Variety