Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 11:16 UK

Incredibles' Bird to direct fourth Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise and Brad Bird
The fourth Mission: Impossible film will be released in May 2011

Brad Bird, director of Pixar hit The Incredibles, is to helm the fourth Mission: Impossible film, its star Tom Cruise has confirmed.

"Everything's signed... Brad is doing it," the actor told Empire magazine, calling Bird "enormously talented".

Paramount Pictures confirmed Cruise would star in a fourth Mission - to be co-produced by Mission: Impossible III director JJ Abrams - earlier this year.

"JJ and I are having a blast, cranking away," Cruise is quoted as saying.

The fourth instalment in the Mission: Impossible franchise will be the first live-action feature from US film-maker Bird.

To date he has directed three animated features: The Iron Giant, a 1999 adaptation of the Ted Hughes story; superhero comedy The Incredibles in 2004; and Ratatouille in 2007, another Pixar production.

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 lucrative action series.

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

The first two entries in the Mission: Impossible series, released in 1996 and 2000, were directed by Brian De Palma and John Woo respectively.

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