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Tom Cruise eyes new "Mission: Impossible"

 U.S. actor Tom Cruise smiles as he arrives to attend a photocall to promote his latest movie
U.S. actor Tom Cruise smiles as he arrives to attend a photocall to promote his latest movie 'Valkyrie' in Rome, January 28, 2009. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico
— image credit: Reuters

By Jay A. Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise are back in business, agreeing to co-produce a fourth "Mission: Impossible" movie with a potential 2011 release date.

Abrams directed Cruise in the third installment of Paramount's TV-derived franchise, which grossed $395 million worldwide in summer 2006.

But the future of the franchise was thrown into doubt -- at least in terms of Cruise's participation -- when Viacom chief Sumner Redstone discontinued his studio's long relationship with the star three months after the movie opened.

Relatively speaking, "M:i:3" was a box-office disappointment, compared with the second film's worldwide gross of $545 million and the original film's take of $452 million.

Abrams recently rebooted a moribund franchise by taking it back to its beginnings with a bunch of young, relatively unknown actors. His "Star Trek," released six weeks ago, has grossed $335 million worldwide so far.

Abrams is not on board to direct the new "Impossible," and no writers have been hired to work on the fourth iteration of the franchise.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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