February 9th, 2010
06:56 PM ET
Fans of superspy Ethan Hunt and the IMF, mark your calendars for Memorial Day weekend, 2011: Tom Cruise is gearing up for "Mission: Impossible IV." Paramount announced today that J.J. Abrams, who directed and co-wrote "M:I III," and Cruise will produce the film, have collaborated on the story, and are searching for a director.
Obviously, Paramount has faith that Abrams can revive a flagging franchise: his reboot of "Star Trek" last year brought in $385 million in worldwide box office, four Oscar nominations, and generally good reviews. Not that the "M:I" films are failing – the first three combined for $1.4 billion worldwide, though "M:I III," back in 2006, had the biggest budget and the lowest grosses of the trio. No word yet whether Ving Rhames will return as Ethan's longtime pal and cohort (and my favorite character in the series), smooth computer expert Luther Stickell.
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