2011's "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" was about as big and as pleasurable a surprise as you could imagine. Four movies into the franchise, which had already weathered a series of ups and downs, returned in fine form with a beautifully directed, wonderfully exciting installment directed by a filmmaker making his live action debut, Brad Bird ("Ratatouille"). Beyond the smashing creative accomplishment, it was also a genuine blockbuster; not only was it the highest grossing entry in the franchise, but also the highest grossing movie starring Tom Cruise. Ever.
So the pressure's on for "Mission: Impossible 5" to actually deliver. Much about the sequel remains unknown, although considering producer J.J. Abrams is back on board, it's safe to assume that at least some of the characters from the fourth film will make it back (the team dynamic was so great there). At least we now know when to look for it: Paramount has announced a Christmas Day, 2015 release date for the fifth film. Choose to accept it.
This time around the film will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who did un-credit script work on the fourth movie and is Cruise's go-to guy, having written "Valkyrie" and written and directed last year's unfairly overlooked "Jack Reacher." (McQuarrie, along with virtually every other screenwriter in Hollywood, also had a hand in Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow," which opens next summer.) Drew Pearce, who co-wrote this year's outstanding "Iron Man 3" with Shane Black, wrote the script for "Mission: Impossible 5" alongside McQuarrie.
What's interesting is that the film will open just a week after Disney unleashes "Star Wars: Episode VII," a film that is being directed by "Mission: Impossible 5" producer J.J. Abrams. It's unlikely any blockbuster stands a chance against that behemoth, but you've got to give Paramount credit for standing their ground. (Fox and DreamWorks Animation will release "Kung Fu Panda 3" that same day, while Warner Bros. has Ben Affleck's period crime epic "Live By Night" also opening.)
While it would be somewhat foolhardy to think that it can scale the heights of "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol," it's feasible to think that it can at least try. It is their mission, should they choose to accept it.