After months of speculation, it has officially been confirmed that Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie has come aboard to direct the highly anticipated sequel to Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, currently known only as Mission: Impossible 5. Rather than announcing the news via a press release or through a trade report, the filmmaker instead decided to elegantly spread the news himself, sending out a message on Twitter reading simply,

McQuarrie has reportedly been the top choice for Mission: Impossible 5 for a long time now, dating back to November 2012 - a full month before Jack Reacher was actually released. The choice makes plenty of sense when you consider that the writer/director has worked with Tom Cruise on multiple projects. While Reacher was their first time working as a director/actor pair, in 2008 McQuarrie wrote the script for the historical drama Valkyrie - in which Cruise starred - and he also adapted the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka for Cruise's upcoming action flick Edge of Tomorrow. The duo most recently appeared together in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con to promote the latter film.

With Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol performing as well as it did, making nearly $700 million at the international box office, Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are excited about getting a sequel in development. Back in May we learned that Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce had been hired to write the script, and that Cruise actually dropped out of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie to focus on the next Mission. They are currently aiming to start production this fall, though at this point it isn't known who among the cast outside of Cruise will be coming back.

Mission: Impossible 5 will be only McQuarrie's third directing effort after both Jack Reacher and the extremely underrated 2000 crime film The Way of the Gun. He is best known for writing the script for Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects, for which he won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award. As much as I like McQuarrie, though, he has some major shoes to fill stepping in for Brad Bird. Ghost Protocol didn't have the strongest script of all time, but the direction and cinematography was out of this world (I'm happy to say that I will never forget the queasy feeling I had in my stomach while watching the Burj Khalifa scene in IMAX for the first time). With any luck, McQuarrie will take a few pages out of Birds book, write a few of his own, and produce the best Mission: Impossible movie yet.

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