Work has properly begun on the next Mission: Impossible, according to Variety.  JJ Abrams, co-producing with Tom Cruise this time around (he’s unlikely to direct) has given script duties to Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec.

Josh and Andre come from the stable of writers and producers who worked on Abrams’ Jennifer Garner-starring TV series Alias. The gang also included Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who wrote M:I 3 and Star Trek, and Drew Goddard, who wrote Cloverfield. Note to self: must find way onto Abrams gravy train.

Abrams describes the project as “off to an exciting start”. No director or cast details yet though, other than Cruise. And maybe I’m reading a bit too much into it, but Variety’s story seems reluctant to say that Cruise is actually starring: the line is that The Cruiser “will certainly be involved in an onscreen capacity”… 

Torch-passing exercise? New team of IMF agents, with Cruise in the background in the Peter Graves role? Who do you reckon would be a good replacement on the mask-wearing front line?

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