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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Cruise Mission film shoot delayed
Tom Cruise
Cruise will star alongside Scarlett Johansson in Mission: Impossible 3
Shooting on Mission: Impossible 3 will be delayed until next year because star Tom Cruise has been "forced" to find a new director, its studio has said.

The Berlin studio said production would not begin at the end of August as planned but in the summer of 2005.

"Cruise will use the postponement in filming to shoot the film War of the Worlds with Steven Spielberg," a spokesman for Studio Babelsberg said.

Jeffrey Abrams will direct the film after the departure of Joe Carnahan.

'Creative differences'

Based on the hit TV show from the 1960s and 70s, the latest instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise will see Cruise reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt.

Co-starring Kenneth Branagh and Scarlett Johansson, the film has an estimated production budget of $150m (82.5m) and was originally due to hit cinemas next May.

However, original Mission: Impossible 3 director David Fincher dropped out in favour of directing skateboarding movie Lords of Dogtown, a project he has since left.

Fincher was replaced with Carnahan, who subsequently quit the film over "creative differences", Studio Babelsberg said.

It will now be directed by Abrams, who created hit television series Alias.

The first movie in the Mission: Impossible series, directed by Brian de Palma in 1996, grossed $454m (250m) worldwide.

Its John Woo-directed sequel took $546m (300m) following its 2000 release.

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