Deadline‘s Mike Fleming is reporting director Brad Bird has found his Mission: Impossible IV female lead in Paula Patton (Precious, Deja Vu), beating out fellow candidates Lauren German and Kristen Kreuk.
Patton will play a young operative who works with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character. Patton joins another recent addition in Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) who is also playing an operative opposite Cruise, and is said to have been selected “should Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character not continue to be the emphasis” of the franchise.
The film is set to begin production in the fall for a December 16, 2011 through Paramount. However, the actual story is yet to have been revealed and will likely remain mum should history involving anything J.J. Abrams is involved in be any indicator.
M:I 4 was penned by Josh Appelbaum and AndrÃ© Nemec based on a story hatched by Abrams and Cruise. As far as sticking to the tone and developing story of the first three films that’s entirely up in the air it seems as it has also been rumored Paramount may not even title the film using Mission: Impossible. While previous co-star Ving Rhames is back as Luther Stickell it has not yet been revealed whether or not Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Simon Pegg will return to reprise their roles from Mission: Impossible III, though Pegg has already been rumored to be involved.