Jeremy Renner cast alongside Cruse for Mission: Impossible 4

When the third installment of Mission: Impossible came out, Tom Cruise was hitting the skids in a major way. He’d done the trampolining on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa thing, and he was taking serious flak for his association with the Church of Scientology and basically, no-one took him seriously anymore.

However, with the success of his team-up with Cameron Diaz this year in Knight and Day, Cruise looks like he’s back on his game. No surprises that he’s revisiting his most successful movie franchise – taking secret agent Ethan Hunt back out for a fourth Mission: Impossible adventure.

The big news here is that Oscar nominated “Hurt Locker” actor Jeremy Renner has been cast as a new member of Hunt’s team of operatives. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames will be reprising their roles on the team as well.

Word is that production chief Adam Goodman felt that Renner “has a Daniel Craig quality”, and that the actor may end up taking the franchise forward if Cruise decides to bow out of the franchise. The Baltimore Sun’s movie blog has a fantastic tribute to Renner’s acting prowess that ends by suggesting that Renner’s style of ‘deep acting’ may add more texture to the Mission: Impossible movies than they’ve had to date:

Renner’s hero/antihero in “Hurt Locker” could have been an idiot savant. And when it comes to defusing bombs, he’s a savant, all right. But he’s never an idiot. His supreme confidence imbues him with uncanny alertness. James is the character who embodies what the filmmakers set up as their thesis. For a master warrior like James, the bracing, all-encompassing immediacy of combat, along with its challenge to prowess, can turn war into a drug.

With JJ Abrahms providing the script for Mission: Impossible IV, and Brad Bird signed on to direct, I’d say hopes are running pretty high for the IMF team’s next feature-length adventure. The movie’s due to go on release December 2011.

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