CATEGORIES Movie News
It's looking improbable -- though not impossible -- that J.J. Abrams will guide Tom Cruise's international superspy Ethan Hunt on another 'Mission: Impossible.' Abrams tells MTV News that the fourth installment of the hugely successful franchise will probably be directed by someone else.

"My guess is, given other things, I will not be directing the movie," the man responsible for creating such TV hits as 'Lost,' 'Alias' and 'Fringe' told MTV. It's looking improbable -- though not impossible -- that J.J. Abrams will guide Tom Cruise's international superspy Ethan Hunt on another 'Mission: Impossible.' Abrams tells MTV News that the fourth installment of the hugely successful franchise will probably be directed by someone else.

"My guess is, given other things, I will not be directing the movie," the man responsible for creating such TV hits as 'Lost,' 'Alias' and 'Fringe' told MTV.

For Abrams, who segued from the small to the big screen by directing 2006's successful (but not mindblowingly so) 'Mission: Impossible III,' those "other things" include a sequel to his 'Star Trek' reboot, which was a major theatrical hit this summer and helped to solidify Abrams' place among Hollywood's most sought-after filmmakers.

Abrams did confirm that he'll stick with his secondary mission as the producer of the fourth flick, at Tom Cruise's request. In a well-placed tease, he explained that the proposed screenplay -- being penned by 'Alias' alums Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemecboth -- "was just so damn cool."

Whoever lenses the next 'Mission' will be the franchise's fourth director -- Abrams followed Brian De Palma and John Woo into the director's chair. MTV also reiterated its reporting that Cruise -- whose steady-handed Ethan Hunt is probably the actor's the most identified-with role in recent years -- might also move on, paving the way for ensemble casting or some other character configuration.

Abrams declined to elaborate further on the plot mechanics of the next 'Mission' tale. This post will self-destruct immediately after you read the period.

Who should direct 'Mission: Impossible 4'?
J.J. Abrams31 (27.0%)
Brian Singer36 (31.3%)
Steven Spielberg35 (30.4%)
Tom Cruise13 (11.3%)