After directing the unsuccessful The Way of the Gun in 2000, it took Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie some twelve years to return to the director's chair with the moderately successful Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise.
Fortunately for McQuarrie fans, we won't have to wait another twelve years to see one of his films, as the director will be reteaming with Cruise for the highly-anticipated Mission: Impossible 5.McQuarrie confirmed the news on Monday via his own Twitter account:
— ChristopherMcQuarrie (@chrismcquarrie) August 5, 2013
Cruise then retweeted McQuarrie, adding: "It's Confirmed!"
Paramount Pictures has issued a press release on the project (read it here), which is being written by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce. Cruise issued the following statement praising his Jack Reacher director and expressing his enthusiasm for this re-teaming:
“I am thrilled to reunite with Chris for the latest installment in the 'Mission' series. I began producing the films with the goal that a different director with his own vision would make each one. Chris is an extraordinary filmmaker who will deliver the heart-pounding action and thrills that audiences around the world have come to expect from the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise.”
McQuarrie has been circling this gig for nearly a year now, but those rumors coincided with the news that McQuarrie had signed on to adapt, produce and direct a big-screen version of the 2009 British mini-series Unforgiven (unrelated to the classic Clint Eastwood Western). Unforgiven has supposedly been a priority for McQuarrie, but with the Cruise-starring sci-fi actioner Oblivion underperforming this summer, one wonders what its status is at this point.
Along with Unforgiven, McQuarrie was reportedly in talks to write and direct Without Remorse, an adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. The project would apparently be a follow-up to Jack Ryan, a reboot of Clancy's spy franchise starring Chris Pine as the lead character.
Kevin Costner was confirmed to appear in both films as mentor character William Harper, but it's a safe bet that the studio will adopt a wait-and-see position on the reboot before charging ahead with Without Remorse. Since the studio in question is Paramount, who also owns the rights to the Mission: Impossible franchise, they'll either wait for McQuarrie to complete M:I5 before going into Without Remorse or hand it off to a different director (which is more likely, especially if Jack Ryan takes off.)
While it's nice to have the official word on this, it doesn't really come as much of a surprise. Given Cruise's close working relationship with McQuarrie - besides Jack Reacher, McQuarrie worked with Cruise on Valkyrie and the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow - and the continued rumors of his involvement with the fifth Mission: Impossible installment, it was just a matter of waiting until the deal was ironed out.
That said, McQuarrie's incisive directing style and attention to detail will be a welcome addition to the the Mission: Impossible franchise. To his credit, Cruise is definitely committed to bringing wildly different directors into the fold and allowing them to create something wholly their own.
With Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol proving not only the biggest hit of the franchise so far - and with a $700 million worldwide take, the biggest hit of Cruise's career - it may seem strange on the surface that he has tapped McQuarrie, but it it could turn out to be a smart move that yields something special.
Mission: Impossible 5 is expected to hit theaters in 2015.
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