Mission Impossible 4 Without Ethan Hunt?

August 7, 2009

Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams are working together on getting Mission: Impossible IV on its feet, and in so doing have hired Alias writers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec to pen the script.

Abrams has a history of hiring writers he’s worked with on his television series to move up to the big game of features. The writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who wrote for Alias under Abrams’ Bad Robot TV company, also wrote Mission: Impossible III. Oh, and they wrote that little sci-fi remake that came out this year, Star Trek.

But that’s neither here nor there. The business at hand is Mission: Impossible IV. Variety reports that Ethan Hunt, Cruise’s character, “will certainly be involved in an onscreen capacity.” Onscreen capacity?! Dude’s the protagonist of the entire franchise! What good would he do in an offscreen capacity? What would an offscreen capacity for Ethan Hunt even entail?

So this is kind of weird stuff. Most people would rightly ask, “Why make another Mission: Impossible if Ethan Hunt isn’t going to be the lead character?” No doubt Cruise’s plate is full until the end of the millennium, but signing on to films that he doesn’t have the time to do seems very strange.

In the meantime we’ll just have to wait until the Hollywood gods drop more bits and pieces of gossip into our laps.

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