Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams have agreed to co-produce Mission: Impossible IV for Paramount, Variety reports. The film is scheduled for a 2011 release. Abrams is currently at work on a Star Trek sequel — he has not decided if he will direct or just produce that film — and Cruise is committed to make an untitled film with Cameron Diaz for 20th Century Fox, directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma). No writers have been assigned to M:I4 yet, but a decision is likely soon. Abrams will not decide if will direct M:I4 until after he sees a finished script. Reports surfaced last week that Cruise and Abrams had met to discuss the project.
M:I4 would be Cruise’s first film at Paramount since his production company left the lot in August 2006. Sumner Redstone, the head of Paramount parent company, Viacom, had made disparaging public comments about the star, saying that Cruise’s now-infamous couch-jumping on Oprah and the resulting media firestorm had cost the studio between $100 million and $150 million on M:I3 because Cruise had turned off women. (The film earned $398 million worldwide, the lowest-grossing installment of the franchise.) Cruise’s 14-year relationship with the studio ended soon afterward. Cruise took over United Artists in the wake of the break-up. In March 2008, Redstone began trying to mend fences and invited Cruise to lunch in Beverly Hills. Redstone said of the meeting that he and Cruise “agreed the past is the past and we would put it behind us and renew our relationship.” Which is not to say that they’ll be taking family vacations together anytime soon. “I wouldn’t exactly say that they ‘made-up,'” a source familiar with the situation tells EW.com. “It was more like a gentlemen’s handshake.” At recent appearance, Redstone reportedly described Cruise as a “great actor and a good friend.”