11:53 10 February 2010
Tom Cruise is confirmed to return as international spy Ethan Hunt in a fourth 'Mission: Impossible' film to be released in May 2011., US movie studio Paramount Pictures has confirmed.
Movie studio Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey stated that Cruise and JJ Abrams (who directed the third film) will share co-production credits while Cruise will star. A director, however, has not been named.
Grey said: "Tom and JJ are great talents and we are excited to be working with them"
Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec will write the film, based on an original story idea by Cruise and Abrams.
While a sequel in the hit franchise was expected, the realities of one arising was thrown into doubt when Cruise and Paramount severed ties in 2006.
Two years later saw the chairman of Paramount's parent company Viacom state that he would not oppose Cruise making another film in the action series with the studio.
"If Paramount decides to go ahead with him, I will not object," said Sumner Redstone at the time.
Abram is hotly tipped to return to the director's chair, particularly after scoring a massive hit for the studio in the form of '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 the black comedy 'Knight and Day', due for release in July.
The first 'Mission: Impossible' film was directed by Brian De Palma, while the second recruited action cinema legend John Woo to take over the helming of the production.
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