Tom Cruise accepts ‘Mission Impossible 5,’ but will Chris McQuarrie join him?

I have a feeling every day is a big day for Tom Cruise.

Still, announcing a fifth film in any star-driven franchise is an uncommon thing, and especially coming off of what was, both commercially and critically, one of the strongest entries in the entire series. Tom Cruise has managed to reinvent the franchise film after film, and each time, it’s been something different and something fresh. That’s almost impossible to pull off, so I guess the title is appropriate.

Skydance, the financing partner headed up by David Ellison, has become Paramount’s version of Legendary Pictures, and they’re attached to co-produce this with Cruise, who is ultimately calling the shots on the series. Word so far has been that Christopher McQuarrie will be writing and directing, especially since his collaboration with Cruise on “Valkyrie” and “Jack Reacher” went so well, and that makes sense. Deadline repeated the rumor in today’s reporting about the deal.

Right now, the biggest question I have about a fifth film is whether or not they’ll bring Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner back as members of Cruise’s team. Simon Pegg, who joined the series in part three, got promoted to a field agent in “Ghost Protocol,” and it felt like the chemistry between all of the members of the team really clicked in this last movie. There was such an important character beat about trust played out at the end of the film that it would be a shame if they just threw that out the window as they’ve done between all of the other movies.

The other thing that complicates today’s news in the Hollywood Reporter about how McQuarrie just made a deal to write and direct “Ice Station Zebra,” a remake of the Rock Hudson action film. It was a monster hit when it was released, and it’s become a cult item over time. My favorite weird footnote about the film is the rumor that Howard Hughes became obsessed with it during his weirdo “locked in a hotel room in Las Vegas” years. It’s one of those films that has not aged terribly well, but it could be great source material for a new movie, and McQuarrie certainly seems like the right guy for it.

So which films takes precedent? Cruise has forty or fifty films in development at any given time, and McQuarrie remains a highly in-demand writer even if “Jack Reacher,” which is also rumored to be getting a sequel, didn’t exactly set the domestic box-office on fire.

However it works out, I hope “Mission: Impossible 5” turns out to offer up another fresh and interesting take on the spy classic.

“Jack Reachers” is on DVD and Blu-ray now.