'Mission: Impossible 5' Casts Its Female Lead; Alec Baldwin in Talks

'Mission Impossible 5' will star Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) in a leading role, and Alec Baldwin is in talks to play the head of the CIA.

Rebecca Ferguson The White Queen

After a four-year vacation from international espionage, Ethan Hunt and friends will return on Christmas Day in 2015 for Mission: Impossible 5, which may or may not still get a cool subtitle like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. That subtitle certainly succeeded in drawing audiences, as the most recent installment in the franchise ended up being one of the top five highest-grossing movies of 2011.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol introduced Jeremy Renner as Ethan Hunt's fellow IMF agent William Brandt and also saw the return of Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, both of whom will reprise their roles in Mission: Impossible 5. The film was also in need of a new female lead to star opposite Tom Cruise (a role that was reportedly offered to Jessica Chastain), and now a newcomer has stepped up to join the team.

Deadline reports that Rebecca Ferguson, who is currently best known for playing Queen Elizabeth in the historical drama miniseries The White Queen, is set to star in Mission: Impossible 5. Official details of her character (including the name) are still unavailable, but during the rumors of Chastain being courted the role was described as "Tom Cruise's right hand woman." Presumably that refers to his character and Ferguson won't just be Cruise's PA on set.

Christopher McQuarrie eyed to direct Mission: Impossible 5

Deadline also has another intriguing piece of casting news: Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine) is apparently in talks to play the head of the CIA, a role that sounds like it would suit him to a tee. Baldwin is no stranger to the genre, having played Jack Ryan in the 1990 adaptation of Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, but Deadline notes that he's also in talks to star in an as-yet untitled film about football concussions, as well as developing a new TV show for NBC. It's unclear whether these projects are in competition, or whether Baldwin intends to do all three.

Mission: Impossible 5 will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who previously worked with Tom Cruise on Jack Reacher - a movie that, at a glance, could easily have been mistaken for another entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise. The script was penned by Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce, with later revisions by Will Staples (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3). With the cast new almost full formed, hopefully we'll learn about the film's story soon as well.

Mission: Impossible 5 opens in theaters on Christmas Day 2015.

Source: Deadline

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