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Rock on, Jeremy Renner. You crushed it last year in "The Hurt Locker," so much so that you nabbed a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Then it was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con that he'd play Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Joss Whedon's upcoming "Avengers" movie. Now Renner is set to join one of the biggest franchises on the planet: "Mission: Impossible."

The word from Deadline is that he'll star opposite Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible IV," which is being directed by Pixar vet Brad Bird, his first live-action feature. Renner is a great choice as a potential future torchbearer, should Cruise end his tenure as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. I also still think (hope?) that this fourth movie will end up framing Hunt as the villain (as opposed to someone who's been framed to hide the one true villain), though Deadline states that he is "expected to return for a fifth installment." Still, the Renner casting is pretty badass.

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"Mission: Impossible III," released in 2006 and directed by J.J. Abrams, is arguably the best entry in that series. Abrams is coming back to produce "Mission: Impossible IV" with Tom Cruise, who will also star, with "The Incredibles" helmer Brad Bird directing. Cruise recently sat down for a chat with MTV's Josh Horowitz to promote his upcoming summer action-comedy "Knight and Day," which opens June 25, and here's what the superstar actor had to say about Ethan Hunt's latest adventure.

"Brad's great," Cruise said. "My whole thing with the series is always having a new director come on and put their stamp on 'Mission: Impossible.' Brian De Palma was first, then John Woo, J.J. Abrams and now Brad Bird, so it will be Brad Bird's 'Mission: Impossible.'" Read More...

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Mission Impossible IV-- "The Incredibles" director Brad Bird is in final negotiations with Paramount Pictures to helm "Mission: Impossible IV," the fourth entry into the spy franchise starring Tom Cruise and executive produced by J.J. Abrams. "MI:4" will mark Bird's live-action filmmaking debut. [New York Magazine]

-- The girls are back in town — and by girls, I mean Carrie Bradshaw and the rest of the "Sex and the City" gang, as the sequel's first official trailer has gone online. Looks like John Corben's Aidan is back in action, so Mr. Big better watch his back! [MTV.com]

-- The Furyan has been left for dead in the first official concept art sketch for "Riddick," the third entry into the "Chronicles of Riddick" franchise starring Vin Diesel as the titular goggles-wearing antihero. [Facebook] Read More...

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What do "The Incredibles," "Shaun of the Dead" and "Zombieland" have in common? Since there are no undead in the Pixar flick, it must be... "Mission: Impossible 4"!!! Wait, what?

The word is that producer J.J. Abrams and star/producer Tom Cruise have met with the directors of those three films as possible candidate to helm IMF agent Ethan Hunt's next big screen adventure. THR's Heat Vision Blog broke the news, putting much of the shock value on "Incredibles" helmer Brad Bird, as this would be his first non-animated effort. And while Bird is certainly an odd man out compared to the other two possibilities, all three are compelling choices. Read More...

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Were the masses crying out for more "Mission: Impossible" madness after Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams' 2006 effort? The third film in the series grossed a respectable $134 million domestically, good for #14 on that year's top box office list. Yet after Abrams' mammoth success with "Star Trek" in the spring of 2009, the key players in the franchise began to speak openly about their desire for a fourth film.

Cut to word yesterday from Paramount that Cruise is set to star In "M:I4". So how did we get here? Let's take a look back. Read More...

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Yesterday's "Mission: Impossible IV" news took a lot of people by surprise. For some time now, it's been speculated that series star Tom Cruise would take a smaller role in the fourth movie to make way for a new, younger star. As we now know, Ethan Hunt will once again lead the U.S. intelligence services in his impossible fight against evil. But what form will that evil take?

We know one thing for sure: IMF has got some serious security issues. In all three movies, Ethan has dealt with an enemy from within. Jon Voight and Dougray Scott, in the first and second installments, respectively, were pretty much the Big Bad. There were other villainous figures, but these two really ran the show for the bad guys. "M:I3" director J.J. Abrams got cute with the third movie, using an actual criminal for the mastermind. But hey, along came Billy Crudup to prove yet again that the IMF does a terrible job of researching agency candidates. Read More...

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UPDATE: Paramount has confirmed to MTV that this news is indeed true. No surprises there, given the original source. Kudos to Deadline Hollywood for snagging the scoop!

Speculating fans of the "Mission: Impossible" series need speculate no more. We've been hearing for awhile about "Mission: Impossible IV." "M:I3" director J.J. Abrams told us in October that he probably wouldn't be back to direct, but he'd stay involved as a producer. He then told us in January that star Tom Cruise was "part of the plan" for the next one. Today's news supports both of those assertions.

It turns out that Cruise will, in fact, reprise his Ethan Hunt role to star in "Mission: Impossible IV," as reported by Deadline Hollywood. He will also produce the film, along with Abrams, and the two are currently searching for their director. The script, as had previously been reported, will be penned by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. Read More...

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Last summer, news started to percolate about the IMF returning to the big screen in "Mission: Impossible IV." In the months that followed, more news trickled out. The biggest break was word that "M:I III" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman would be replaced by "Alias" writer/producers Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum. A big question still remained however: would star Tom Cruise be back for a fourth helping?

MTV's Josh Horowitz asked producer and "M:I III" director J.J. Abrams that very question on the National Board of Review red carpet two nights ago.

"The goal would be for that to occur," Abrams said, skirting around actually mentioning anyone or anything by name. So Josh pressed him a little. Read More...

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When J.J. Abrams took on directing duties for "Mission: Impossible III," he tried to get Martin Landau – who played super-spy Rollin Hand in the original '60s TV series – to take on a cameo role in the movie. "[J]ust for fun," the director said recently, "and [I] was told that he had no interest in doing it."

Now we know why. In an interview with MTV News, Landau said he has no interest in appearing in an adaptation of a franchise of which he's fiercely protective and which he feels is not true to the original series. "I'm not interested in doing that," he explained. "Let the young Rollin Hand live on." Read More...

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FROM MTV.COM: In 2006, J.J. Abrams was largely known as a TV guy, one of the creative minds behind fare like "Lost" and "Alias." Then came a turn in the directing chair for "Mission: Impossible III," when he popped off explosions galore around Tom Cruise, and Abrams' career was never the same. Rebooted "Star Trek," anyone?

Now, a fourth "Mission" is in the works. Will Abrams step back into the role that brought him from small-screen whiz kid to big-screen guru? That seems unlikely, as Abrams made clear in an interview with MTV News.

Continue reading J.J. Abrams Isn't Planning To Direct 'Mission: Impossible IV'

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