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When your film makes nearly $1 billion in two weeks, you kind of get the opportunity to pick from the cream of the crop for your next project. So Iron Man 3 director Shane Black gets to tackle the Doc Savage movie he has been circling for years. And screenwriter Drew Pearce, according to THR, gets a crack at the massive Mission: Impossible series.

The trade says that Pearce, a co-writer on Marvel’s hit movie, has been hired by Paramount to write the fifth Impossible. Tom Cruise will star and co-produce, while J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot will assist. THR says that Cruise’s Jack Reacher collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie, remains the top choice to direct the fifth M:I movie, but nothing has been inked just yet. Cruise, meanwhile, plans to step back into the role of Ethan Hunt in the fall, after he shoots Warner Bros.’ The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this summer.

Pearce seems like a fine choice for the as-yet-untitled M:I 5. He and Black conceived some immense set pieces for Tony Stark to leap through in Iron Man 3, including that mid-air rescue from Air Force One, and the final face off between Aldrich Killian and a gaggle of Iron Man suits. He also receives a writing credit on Guillermo Del Toro’s massive Pacific Rim.

The Mission franchise is building off of a major hit in Ghost Protocol, which Brad Bird guided to nearly $700 million in worldwide ticket sales … making it Cruise’s second-highest-grossing movie to date. The movie star helped open Oblivion to decent numbers this spring, meaning people still want to see him going through the action motions. We’ll see soon enough what Pearce can cook up for the tireless action actor.

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