Tom Cruise, in a brief encounter with Empire has let the cat out of the bag and confirmed earlier speculation announcing Brad Bird (Ratatouille) will be directing Mission: Impossible IV, which was just announced as moving its release date to December 16, 2011 rather than the previously scheduled May 28, 2011.
Bird is a curious selection considering his forte seems to be in animation, starting with The Iron Giant in 1999 followed by The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Pixar. For the longest time he’s been trying to get the live-action feature 1906 off the ground, but for budgetary reasons it may be dead in the water. That is, unless he proves he can churn out a proper live-action film with M:I 4.
Quoted by Empire, Cruise elaborated saying, “The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille – Brad is enormously talented and JJ [Abrams] and I are having a blast, cranking away. We’re having a lot of fun. I like working with people I just love hanging out with, you get to hang out and laugh and talk stories and movies and technology.”
Story details for Cruise’s fourth turn as IMF agent Ethan Hunt have not been announced, but with Bird now set to direct and the screenplay written by Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum I would expect we hear more soon.