When there was a rumor last year that Mission Impossible could live on without Tom Cruise, most of you were primed to say adios, but it looks like you might not get your wish. The Hollywood Reporter posts that Cruise has agreed to produce a fourth installment of the franchise with JJ Abrams, and they're looking at a potential 2011 release date.

The idea of having Cruise step away to make room for a younger star, and the meetings to discuss the idea, have been denied by those (allegedly) involved. But as THR rightly points out -- this news is sparse on the details, or rather the most important: Is Cruise going to star as Ethan Hunt once again? Or, are those rumors right-on about a new spin on the franchise?

With all the effort Cruise has been putting into his career over the last few years, I can't imagine that he'd agree to step down, or to act as some sort of Mr. Miyagi or Ra's Al Ghul. However, why doesn't this news include Cruise's casting announcement if he was going to star? One would imagine that the producing and starring agreements would go hand in hand. Could Cruise actually be willing to step down, and what, do you think, is the motive if he is?