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The fourth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise will not be titled Mission: Impossible 4, and it may not even have the words “Mission: Impossible” in the title. This news comes shortly after the announcement of Academy Award-nominee Jeremy Renner starring in the film alongside Tom Cruise, who has led the franchise since the first film.
According to Variety, there has been much speculation about the box office draw of Cruise, whose latest film Knight and Day was a commercial and critical dud. There has been so much doubt, in fact, that people were surprised when Cruise was brought back on board. This uncertainty in the once-popular actor could explain the change in the movie’s title, as it would give way for Renner to become the central character of the series beyond this next film, which is something that Paramount is considering.
Cruise is a talented actor who has always been able to shine and charm an audience. However, something just hasn’t been right as of late, as was proven with his work in Knight and Day. Perhaps it is time for another actor to take over this franchise before it’s too late. That’s obviously what Paramount is thinking, and it’s hard to find fault with that philosophy. Plus, Renner is a terrific actor who, even though he had a breakout last year with his work in The Hurt Locker, still isn’t a movie star. A role like this should easily be able to bring him stardom.
The film is set to begin shooting sometime this fall with Brad Bird in the director’s seat. This as-of-now untitled film is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2011.