The Mission: Impossible series has always been interesting to me because of the rotating door of directors for every new installment. The approach brings a fresh style to each film, and gives a unique feeling to the franchise while keeping the main character (and some occasional supporting characters) consistent throughout the series.
Paramount has greenlit Mission: Impossible 4 and is hoping to roll cameras this summer in order to meet a Memorial Day 2011 release date, so the search is on for a director to tackle the project.
We already knew that M:I 3 director J.J. Abrams will not be returning to direct, but has instead come on board as a producer alongside franchise star Tom Cruise, who is confirmed to reprise his role as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt in the new installment.
Now word comes from The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog that director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is in contention for the M:I 4 director's chair, figuratively battling it out against the likes of Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead). All three directors are interesting choices, but Bird stands out since he has never directed a live-action film before.
The two-time Oscar-winning director's pet project (a story about a San Francisco earthquake entitled 1906), has been stalled for years because of budget concerns. With the chance to tackle a more action-oriented film, perhaps Bird is looking to prove his directorial capability to financiers.
I'd much rather see Bird direct a Mission: Impossible film than either Fleischer or Wright. I think giving Bird the opportunity to step behind the camera on a live-action feature may provide a jolt of electricity to a franchise that isn't getting any easier to continue as Tom Cruise gets older.
Perhaps we'll be more dazzled with Bird's visual style than with Cruise's now-familiar turn as Ethan Hunt: think of it as the polar opposite of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which Harrison Ford was literally the only aspect that held my interest.
I'm sure Fleischer is reading up on 3D in preparation for Zombieland 2, and frankly I think Wright is just a bad fit for this series. His off-kilter sense of humor doesn't mesh with the hyper-serious adventures of Ethan Hunt, and I'd rather see Wright handle more original material after Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Who do you think should direct Mission: Impossible 4? Is Bird the right guy for the job, or would you rather see what Fleischer or Wright can do with the series?
Source: Heat Vision Blog