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Paramount Pictures, eager to follow up on the success of Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, has reportedly lined up a director for the series’ next installment. Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The Usual Suspects, is the studio’s top choice to helm Mission: Impossible 5.
McQuarrie is a sensible choice to take over Tom Cruise’s tentpole franchise, considering he just finished helping the star actor launch another one: McQuarrie and Cruise also collaborated with Paramount/Skydance on Jack Reacher, the adaptation of Lee Child’s popular series of novels, due out in late December.
In fact, the two have worked together quite frequently recently, as McQuarrie also scripted Cruise’s film Valkyrie and did some uncredited work on Ghost Protocol. He was also hired to write the gestating Top Gun 2, but Tony Scott’s unfortunate death has that production on a possibly permanent hold.
Although fans are probably disappointed to see Bird go (unless, of course, that clears the way for him to work on Star Wars, but let’s not go there today), McQuarrie certainly seems a solid option. This would only be his third film as a director (after Jack Reacher and The Way of the Gun), but a good working relationship with both the talent and the studio should make things move smoothly. Considering Ghost Protocol’s $700 million worldwide gross, the more streamlined the process and the faster M:I 5 can get into theaters, the better it will be for Paramount.