Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Tom Cruise to star in fourth Mission: Impossible film

Tom Cruise (right) with JJ Abrams
Abrams directed Cruise in Mission: Impossible III, released in 2006

Tom Cruise will return as Ethan Hunt in a fourth Mission: Impossible film to be released in May 2011, US movie studio Paramount Pictures has confirmed.

Cruise's involvement in the project had previously been reported, though it was not certain if he would appear in it.

JJ Abrams, who directed the third film in the franchise, will co-produce with Cruise. A director has yet to be named.

"Tom and JJ are great talents and we are excited to be working with them," said Paramount chairman Brad Grey.

Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec will write the film, based on an original idea by Cruise and Abrams.

Franchise relaunch

The fate of Mission: Impossible IV had hung in the balance after Cruise and Paramount severed ties in 2006.

Two years later, though, the chairman of Paramount's parent company Viacom said he would not oppose Cruise making another film in the action series.

"If Paramount decides to go ahead with him, I will not object," said Sumner Redstone at the time.

Abrams's last film for the studio was Star Trek, a successful relaunch of the sci-fi franchise that has made more than $385m (£245m) worldwide.

Cruise, 47, will next be seen alongside Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day, an action comedy set for release in July.

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