Tom Cruise and company were all pretty quick to jump onto and set a release date for the upcoming fourth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. The only problem was that the film had yet to sign a director. Who could possibly take the helm after sci-fi meganerd J.J. Abrams shared his vision in the last film. Well, according to THR, the studio’s number one choice is Incredibles director Brad Bird.
On the surface, Bird may seem a peculiar choice. The writer-director wrote and directed 1999’s “The Iron Giant” and 2004’s “The Incredibles” as well as 2007’s “Ratatouille” (the latter two earned Oscars for best animated picture), but he has never helmed a live-action feature.
On the other hand, nabbing Bird would be inspired. He is praised for his storytelling skills and is known for his strengths in staging thrilling and intricate action set-pieces as well as fusing the action with large dollops of heart and emotion.
Bird is just one name thrown into the hat along with others such as Edgar Wright and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. Brad seems the be at least Cruise’s top pick in the list.
With the film getting a summer 2011 release date, it looks this could be the dawn of an era where animated directors no longer get pigeon holed to the genre, as WALL-E director Andrew Stanton is also taking a stab at live action in 2012’s John Carter of Mars.
As of right now, Cruise is the only on-screen talent attached to the film, with Abrams and partner Josh Appelbaum putting together the script. Mission Impossible IV is currently set for a May 27th release date.