Tradecraft: M:I:IV Director Confirmed, Date Changed
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Tom Cruise has confirmed with British film magazine Empire that Incredibles director Brad Bird will, as previously speculated, direct the next Mission: Impossible movie. (Great news, in my opinion!) Cruise stars, and he and M:I:III director J.J. Abrams produce. Additionally, Paramount has shifted the film's release date from Summer 2011 to December of that year in order to make way for another J.J. Abrams film (one that he's directing) in the summer and give him time to focus (in his producer capacity) on Mission: Impossible after wrapping that film. The trade doesn't mention it, but I'd guess another factor in the studio's decision to shift the release date might have been EON Productions' recent announcement that they were halting production on the next Bond movie pending MGM sorting itself out, essentially vacating that Winter 2011 slot in which it likely would have opened. So Ethan Hunt is moving in on Bond's territory.