While we wait to see if the international box office for Knight and Day determines Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible IV fate (although it's looking more than likely he will return), we can at least rest assured that some supporting character continuity will still be in place.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Simon Pegg is currently in negotiations to return to the Mission: Impossible franchise for the fourth film, being directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles). If he does return, he'll be reprising his role from the third movie as lab geek Benji Dunn, who unsurprisingly provided a very welcome dose of comic relief to the otherwise straight-faced and serious proceedings.
Details on the plot of M:I IV are being kept firmly under wraps for the time being, which is understandable considering the movie hasn't even been officially greenlit and if and when it is, won't be hitting theaters until next Christmas. However, we do know it's being written by Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (Alias) from an original idea by both Cruise and J.J. Abrams.
Speaking of the latter, if Pegg does return he will be collaborating with Abrams for the third time. Abrams directed him in both the third Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. And although Abrams is not directing Mission: Impossible IV, he is still attached as a producer. Perhaps Abrams has tapped Pegg as the new go-to guy for comic relief in his action movies?
I'd very much like to see Pegg return for M:I IV. Aside from the fact that I'd watch anything with Pegg in it, I really got a kick out of his character in the third Mission: Impossible. While Cruise was running around saving the world, Pegg brought some humor to it all, much like he did as Scotty in the Star Trek reboot. The question is will he be the only one returning from the third movie or will we see actors like Ving Rhames and Maggie Q return, too?
If officially greenlit (and I have little doubt it will be), Mission: Impossible IV will likely start shooting this September and is currently scheduled to be released on December 16th, 2011.