By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 9, 2012 at 12:23PM
With the absolutely monster success of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" proving with its $679 million worldwide gross (the best of the series so far) that there is still plenty of fuel left in the tank, it did not take long for sequel talk to start. In fact, it was only a few days after the opening weekend that word first started being kicked around about a potential new installment, and indeed more official confirmation reveals that is definitely the plan.
Viacom (who owns Paramount) CEO Philippe Dauman recently popped his head in a shareholder's meeting in New York City, and when asked if there are plans to develop an "additional sequel," he responded by saying, "Oh, yes." While much of the talk pre-'Ghost Protocol' centered on Jeremy Renner possibly taking over the franchise, anyone who saw the movie knows that Tom Cruise is still very much commander-in-chief of the 'Mission' team, and given that his star power is now flexing its muscle once again, you can bet he will be back for "Mission: Impossible [Insert Weird Subtitle Here]"
Of course, it could be a ways off. Cruise shoots "Oblivion"/"Horizons"/Whateveritscalled this spring and then presumably is moving to Doug Liman's "We Mortals Are" (aka "All You Need Is Kill") in the fall. A script still has to be written and then approved by Cruise, and a director needs to be hired (the franchise switches it up with each movie -- Josh Trank anybody?). So it could be a while. But considering the franchise has never been healthier, you can bet it's on the top of the priority list for both Paramount and Cruise. [THR]