Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol managed to at once be a blockbuster hit for Paramount, a needed shot of life for a fading franchise (maybe Tom Cruise’s action career), and a genuinely fun and enjoyable live-action debut from director Brad Bird, whose previous expertise was crafting animated flicks like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.

So, with that kind of trifecta, is it any surprise that the Paramount – and parent company Viacom – want to keep a good thing going?

The answer in this case is “Not at all”: An established franchise that’s suddenly a hit again. Cruise suddenly bankable as an action star again. Supporting actors who could potentially carry on the franchise (Ghost Protocol’s Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg). A smart director in Brad Bird… What’s not to like?

Back in December we heard that Paramount was fast-tracking Mission: Impossible 5, now we’re getting confirmation on that subject, straight from the top. Check out what Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said (oh-so-coyly) during a shareholder meeting in NYC, when the subject of Mission: Impossible 5 came up (as quoted by THR):

Dauman was asked by a shareholder if there were “any plans to develop an additional sequel.” His response: “Oh, yes.”

Again, a Ghost Protocol sequel  is really a no-brainer, given that M:I4 is sitting pretty at a $679 million worldwide box office take. However, the question of who is returning is somewhat less certain at this point. It’s easy to assume that the cast will be locked in for another go, but whether Brad Bird or Ghost Protocol writers Josh Applebaum and André Nemec will return is a harder call to make.

Then again, as far as the greater public is concerned, the overwhelming sentiment will likely be that it’s a good time to go on another Mission, regardless of the personnel details.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol sequel ((is that what we’re calling it? Not Mission: Impossible 5?) as news develops.

Source: THR