Even though he's been playing it cagey and cool, this news is hardly shocking. As far back as last fall, prior to the release of "Jack Reacher," Christopher McQuarrie was expected to write and direct "Mission: Impossible 5" for his bud Tom Cruise. Even earlier this year he was undecided on directing and attached himself to some other projects along the way, including Warner Bros. long developing remake of "Ice Station Zebra" and a U.S. adaptation of the U.K. miniseries, "Unforgiven." But it looks like he's accepting the mission.
The writer/director hit Twitter to day to reveal simply: "Mission: Accepted" and barring it being code for something wildly different it's probably safe to assume he's now confirmed to helm "Mission: Impossible 5." There's no word yet on the plot but Cruise is heavily involved, dropping out of Warner Bros. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." to focus on the picture, which is aiming to start shooting by the end of the year. Does this mean a 2014 date for the sequel? No word yet, but McQuarrie's announcement does seem to suggest things are moving right along.
He'll certainly have a tough act to follow, with Brad Bird's globe trotting, tower climbing 'Ghost Protocol' impressing audiences worldwide, and that's not to mention his own "Jack Reacher," whose modest box office performance suggests that franchise plans are likely not in the cards. But Ethan Hunt does seem to be a reliable brand so everyone involved should have a bit of pressure taken off their shoulders, as long as they stick to the formula. We'd wager more news about this one is coming soon.