A few years back there was a very public fallout between Tom Cruise and the owner of Paramount Pictures, Sumner Redstone, Redstone was concerned that Mr Cruise's private life was damaging the box office takings and his appeal to audiences.
The actor was seen on national television jumping up and down on a sofa during an interview with Oprah Winfrey and he also has an obsession with the bizarre cult of Scientology, the box office figures for Mission Impossible 3 were poorer than expected in North America and his recent film Knight & Day managed a miserable worldwide gross of just over $225m dollars, despite reservations the studio have struck a deal for Cruise to return as Ethan Hunt and Mission Impossible 4 is finally back on track to be made.
Paramount are thought to be seeking to reboot the franchise and have cast Jeremy Renner as a younger agent who is part of Hunt's ( Cruise's) team, the thinking is that Paramount see Renner as an ideal future replacement for Cruise, other cast members are Paula Patton who will play the female lead, it's also likely that Ving Rhames will return as Luther, rumoured to be returning cast members but not set in stone just yet is Maggie Q as Zhen, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan and Simon Pegg as Benji.
The director of Mission Impossible 4 is Brad Bird who up to this point has mainly been involved in animation, he directed The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
My own feeling is that Mr Cruise needs to take more chances with his career, he certainly needs to distance himself from Scientology which incidentally was conceived by L. Ron Hubbard who was a sci-fi writer, go figure that his "religion" should have so many science fiction elements in it, do people like Tom Cruise have so much lacking in their lives that they need to fall back on something so obviously made up but also something so potentially dangerous as scientology!
I like the Mission Impossible films and i have a feeling this one will be exciting, action packed and full of suspense, the problem for Paramount is that Cruise brings with him a lot of baggage due to the scientology connections, by all accounts he is a good guy and spends time at film premieres walking among the crowds signing autographs and letting fans take snaps, but the other side of the coin is that he is also considered to be a control freak and when you combine that with the lunacy of scientology you end up with a person who shows one face in public but another in private, maybe he should just loosen up and take more chances before he gets too old for the parts, he is a good actor and i hope he does more unexpected roles such as the one in Tropic Thunder, i like when actors take chances.
Mission Impossible IV may have a name change before it's release date, it opens December 2011.