Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Photo: Paramount Pitures)
Actually, he's "deciding to accept" the position, according to his recent tweet. Close enough, Chris.
Even though that tweet didn't self-destruct five seconds after it was posted, it looks like director Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise are more or less officially set to reunite for the fifth "Mission: Impossible" film, following their recent collaboration on this past holiday season's most underappreciated offering, "Jack Reacher."
Back in November, Deadline reported that Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams were interested in McQuarrie taking over the "M:I" franchise, which is a top priority for Paramount after the Brad Bird-directed "Ghost Protocol" made over $700 million in worldwide box office. At the time, the studio was excited about how well "Jack Reacher" turned out, which ended up doing well with critics but underperforming with audiences after it was released on December 21 against some extremely heavy year-end competition.
McQuarrie and Cruise have actually worked together on several projects recently, with the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Usual Suspects" penning "Valkyrie" and doing a few passes on Cruise's upcoming "All You Need Is Kill" and the now-defunct "Top Gun 2." He also wrote the screenplay for "Jack Reacher," adapted from Lee Child's novel "One Shot."
McQuarrie using the phrase "deciding to accept" in reference to the "M:I-5" assignment has SlashFilm speculating that he at first wasn't sure if he wanted to direct the film without also writing it, as there's currently no word on whether he'll have a hand in the script at all. However, given McQuarrie's past working relationship with Cruise, it's probably safe to assume that he'll have at least some sort of story input.
Like the "Alien" franchise, the "Mission: Impossible" series has had a different director with each installment (Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird and now McQuarrie), which has allowed each film to more or less reinvent itself and become a showcase for not only Cruise but also the helmer's particular style. Given his love of intricate plots and ambiguous characters, McQuarrie may bring us more of a "thinking man's" action film with "M:I-5" -- perhaps even one with a major surprise twist at the end (if he is indeed allowed any involvement with the script).
"Mission: Impossible 5" is on track to be released sometime in 2015.
See Tom Cruise in a clip from "Jack Reacher":