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Mission: Impossible 5 currently has an Academy Award winning screenwriter sitting at its helm, as Christopher McQuarrie has been hired by Paramount Pictures and Skydance to direct Tom Cruise's next adventure as super spy Ethan Hunt, but sadly he won't be the one holding the pen for the project. Instead, the two studios - along with Cruise's production company - have now hired cinema-newcomer Will Staples to write the film's script.
As The Hollywood Reporter mentions in their story, Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce was the first screenwriter to come aboard the project, having been hired last May, but that was back before McQuarrie signed on as Mission: Impossible 5's director. It's unclear if Staples is being brought on to simply rewrite the screenplay they've been developing, or if he will be starting from scratch and bringing his own originality to the mix. Instead, the trade report simply says that he's been hired "to work on the script."
Will Staples is primarily known for his work in the video game world, having worked on titles such as Pursuit Force, Lair, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the upcoming Need for Speed: Rivals. But he's been getting close to his big Hollywood break for years now. We've been writing about the screenwriter's work in the film industry going back to 2009 now, but none of the associated titles have ever made it out of development. It began when he was hired by producer Jerry Bruckheimer to co-write an adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra's novel Apaches. Since then, other projects he has been attached to include the James Cameron/Sam Worthington sci-fi thriller Myth, Jeremy Renner's bank robbery movie The King of Heists, Vin Diesel's action-adventure World's Most Wanted and Ben Affleck's Blood and Treasure, a large-scale geopolitical thriller. Could Mission: Impossible 5 be the first one that actually gets made?
As of now we really don't know much about Mission: Impossible 5, but it's somewhat troubling that they're still trying to get the script together. Star Wars: Episode VII - which is set to open one week earlier in December 2015 - is said to be shooting later this week. While I'm sure many of the other pieces of the production are in place, I really wouldn't be too surprised to hear that the film winds up getting pushed back.
Currently scheduled to head into theaters on Christmas Day next year, Mission: Impossible 5 will definitely be bringing back Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, and if the end of Ghost Protocol can be believed we will also see the return of Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg (plus, perhaps, Ving Rhames). If Paramount, Skydance and Tom Cruise want to get their movie done on time they will have to start working a lot faster than they currently are, and if that ends up being the case expect to hear a lot more news about the next Mission: Impossible over the next few weeks.