The one consistent thing we could say about the Mission: Impossible franchise is that it has remained inconsistent in the director’s chair. Four movies, four different directors … and the news swirling around a planned Part Five has yet another new name added to the mix.
It’s one that’s familiar to Tom Cruise, however, as Deadline reports Christopher McQuarrie – who just helmed Jack Reacher – is at the top of Paramount’s list to helm Mission: Impossible 5.
The duo has collaborated on multiple films in the past. While McQuarrie made a name writing The Usual Suspects, he recently contributed to the screenplays of such Cruise vehicles as Valkyrie, All You Need is Kill, and the fourth M:I thriller, Ghost Protocol. We’re hearing positive buzz on Jack Reacher – McQuarrie’s adaptation of Lee Child’s action-packed novel One Shot – and so it kind of makes sense that Paramount (and Cruise) would want to keep him in the wheelhouse.
When I mentioned the revolving door of directors on the M:I franchise, I didn’t mean it as a bad thing. One way to keep a franchise – any franchise – fresh is to introduce a new voice with each chapter. When it works, as it did for Ghost Protocol, it can breathe new life into a tired series.
My one concern is that the Ethan Hunt character has similarities to Child’s military hero, Jack Reacher, and the work McQuarrie does on the first film in that series might feel reheated if he comes over to the Impossible films.
However, it sounds like Cruise and Paramount trust in McQuarrie’s storytelling abilities based on what he did with Jack Reacher (which opens on Dec. 21), and so it looks like Mission: Impossible 5 will be his job to turn down.