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Brad Bird Confirms He Won't Helm The Next Mission Impossible

When news broke last month that Paramount Pictures would be pursuing production of a sequel to the 2011 blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the first order of business as we saw it was securing Ghotocol director Brad Bird immediately. Like this incredible action movie's skyscraper-scaling hero, Bird took a daring leap, bounding from the world of animated films—where he made such instant-classics as The Iron Giant and The Incredibles—to live-action features with major stars and a massive budget. It was a serious risk, but Bird won audiences over from the start with Ghotocol's heart-racing intro action set piece.

So it seems an obvious choice for Ghotocol's producer Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams to line him up for Hunt and company's next adventure. Unfortunately, Bird seems less than enthused about the idea of repeating himself. (There's a lot of that going around lately.) While promoting Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol's release on DVD and Blu-Ray, Bird confessed to Crave:

"I think that one of the things that’s fun about the series is that they always pull in a different director and try to get a different kind of take on the premise. I’d probably be open to looking at it, but I think that part of one of the successes of the franchises is that they’re always reassessing it with a new director. That was one of the things that attracted me to it. It’s not a franchise where it was about dismissing your style in order to get the style of the franchise. It was more about [having] each director influence the franchise. Because whatever you think about the Mission: Impossible films, they don’t look like they were made by the same person. They’re the same premise and the same lead actor and all of that, but they feel like four distinctly different movies, style-wise."

Bird makes a good argument about why a new director should be chosen…until you consider how completely exhilarating and fun his Mission: Impossible was! He infused the film with a thrilling enthusiasm. Its heroes don't just pull off jaw-dropping stunts but also take a brief moment to react to what just went down, allowing audiences to share their awe. Bird abandoned the cliché of the too-cool-to-react action star who has explosions detonate behind him, but never looks back. Bird's characters were more of the moment, reveling when pulling off a crazy stunt, and cringing after suffering a hard fall. It made Mission: Impossible 4 refreshing and fun, and even managed to make Tom Cruise likeable. Which is why Bird's admittance he is unlikely to return for another Mission: Impossible is absolutely devastating.

And in this crestfallen state, we're left to ponder who will dare attempt to top Bird by taking on the next adventure from the Mission: Impossible franchise? Share your picks in comments.

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.