Even before it was officially announced, I think it was pretty obvious that we'd be getting another Mission: Impossible movie, even if the third installment didn't perform as well as the studio hoped (at least in the U.S.).
What was surprising, however, was last week's news that the Mission: Impossible IV will actually be a reboot of sorts - one which drops the established "Mission: Impossible" line from its title, even though franchise stars Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames and (possibly) Simon Pegg will be returning.
As Deadline now reports, it's still looking likely that Mission: Impossible IV will be a reboot (supposedly it was always envisioned as such by Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams) and coming along for the ride is actress Paula Patton, who has just landed herself the coveted lead female role.
Not long after news surfaced of the franchise reboot, the question arose of who would play the lead female. A few actresses reportedly tested out for the role, including Laura German, Kristin Kreuk and Patton. Evidently the latter has beaten out the competition to star as a young operative who works with Cruise's Ethan Hunt.
That's just a vague description of Patton's character, but it's already pretty clear that she will also play the love interest for either Cruise or Jeremy Renner's character. Franchises like this always have (but don't necessarily need) a love interest - all three Mission: Impossible movies had one - so don't be surprised if that's who Patton turns out to be.
I don't know about you, but I think this latest Mission: Impossible is shaping up rather well, with the cast being particularly impressive. Renner is a real talent and I'm glad he's getting the recognition he deserves - he'll be a fine candidate to take over the franchise if and when the time comes for Cruise to depart.
Patton is also a very talented actress who has popped up here and there in movies for the last few years (Idlewild, Deja Vu, Precious and Mirrors, to name her most notable roles) but she has never really shot to the big time as far as lead roles go. With the status of the Mission: Impossible franchise I think that will now change.
Mission: Impossible IV (as we're calling it until we hear of the new franchise name) will shoot in Vancouver, Prague, Dubai and parts of the U.S. this Fall under the direction of Brad Bird (The Incredibles). It already has a scheduled release date of December 16th, 2011.