But that isn’t what you remember about M:I 3 now, is it? No, I don’t think you remember much of that at all. What you do remember about M:I 3 was that it was the first Cruise film to appear in the wake of Cruise’s public meltdowns on “Oprah” and the “Today” show. The couch jumping. The Scientology stuff. The “You’re being glib, Matt.” It’s hard to believe, but there was time when Tom Cruise was regarded as a fairly non-controversial Hollywood megastar. That all blew to pieces right before the last M:I 3 film, and that movie’s relatively disappointing domestic grosses were considered a public referendum on Cruise’s public bouts of goofiness.
Well, it’s 2010 now. The insanity around Cruise has subsided, and he’s ready to make a fourth installment of the global hit franchise. From New York Magazine:
Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt and be the movie's focus (contrary to rumors that he'd cede the foreground to another secret agent played by a less crazy actor). And no, producer J.J. Abrams, who helmed the third MI film, will not direct…
While Abrams won’t direct the movie, his newfound clout after the roaring success of “Star Trek” means he could have a bit more creative license on this fourth movie in the franchise. He may tap a promising newcomer for the job, as Peter Jackson did with Neill Blomkamp for “District 9,” and give that newcomer the chance to make this movie something unique. And I’m sure Abrams has tasers at the ready should Cruise decide to make any sudden public appearances leading up to the premiere.