Mike Fleming reports Paramount Pictures determined Renner was “the right co-star to play an operative opposite Cruise” as the process became a matter of “selecting an actor who could potentially carry the series, should Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character not continue to be the emphasis.”
Apparently this cancels out the news from Kevin’s story earlier this morning citing Kevin Zegers, Christopher Egan and Anthony Mackie would audition for the film. Those auditions have now been canceled as the role now belongs to Renner.
Renner has certainly hit his stride since starring in The Hurt Locker, which earned him an Oscar nomination as he will next be seen in Ben Affleck’s The Town and also landed the role of Hawkeye in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.
Renner joins Cruise and returning star Ving Rhames in Mission: Impossible 4, which is set to begin production this fall for a December 16, 2011 release. Simon Pegg has also been rumored to be returning as tech specialist Benji Dunn, but that has yet to be confirmed.