Tom Cruise signs on for Mission Impossible 5

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

You can file this one under the “well, obviously” category.  Tom Cruise has officially signed on to star in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 5, marking a return to the lucrative franchise for both Cruise, Paramount and Skydance Productions.  Cruise is the first domino to fall into place, but expect a director and a screenwriter to be announced soon since it has been rumored for a while that Tom Cruise would bring his JACK REACHER director, Christopher McQuarrie, into the franchise as well.  Given that JACK REACHER hits Blu-ray tomorrow, it would be perfect timing to announce Tom Cruise today and then McQuarrie later in the week.

Of course, the real question is where are they going to go with the franchise.  Before GHOST PROTOCOL came out, the word was that Paramount was looking to replace Tom Cruise with Jeremy Renner.  But Renner was barely an afterthought in Protocol and public opinion on Tom Cruise seemed to sway back in his favor, so it’s unclear if Paramount is still having second thoughts on Cruise.  What is clear is that Tom Cruise relies heavily on the success of his Mission Impossible franchise to lead to other big time roles.  After MI4, he signed on for JACK REACHER, OBLIVION, ALL YOU NEED IS KILL and several other films that are in various stages of production.  Adding in a successful fifth installment would only continue his A-list status. (Deadline)

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