Cruise and Abrams choose to accept another ‘Mission’; will it self-destruct?

June 18, 2009 | 3:11 p.m.

Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams

Michael Fleming at Daily Variety has a surprising bit of news: J.J. Abrams, fresh from the critical and commercial success of “Star Trek,” has agreed to co-produce a new “Mission: Impossible” film with action star Tom Cruise. Here’s an excerpt from Fleming’s story:

The return of Cruise to [Paramount] itself is surprising in view of the circumstances surrounding his departure in August 2006. Apparently irked by the heft of Cruise’s deal, among other issues, Viacom chief Sumner Redstone abruptly terminated the 14-year relationship between the star and the studio. Cruise’s then-CAA agent, Rick Nicita, termed Redstone’s decision “shockingly offensive and graceless.”

The rift led to Cruise becoming the chief of United Artists and taking a more active role in production decisions. Redstone, meanwhile, has sought to heal the relationship. At a recent appearance, he described the star as “a great actor and a good friend.”

The “Mission” installment would augment Paramount’s formidable array of sequels, which will include “Star Trek 2” and a third “Transformers.”

The plan is a 2011 release, and it will be interesting to see if Abrams chooses to direct the film. I’m guessing he will and also that he will hand off directing duties on the “Trek” franchise after the second film but stay on as a producer for any Starfleet films beyond that.

– Geoff Boucher

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Top photo: Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams on the set of “Mission: Impossible III.” Credit: Paramount Pictures. Bottom photo: J.J. Abrams. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press.

 

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