Tradecraft: Will Knight & Day Box Office Affect M:I-4?
Bear in mind: this is only speculation. There doesn't seem to be anything definite to this story, but Deadline has raised the possibility that this weekend's box office performance of Tom Cruise's latest spy movie, Knight and Day, might somehow affect the actor's next spy movie, Mission: Impossible 4. The box office prognosis for the film doesn't look good; apparently the film took in just $3.8 million dollars on its opening night Wednesday. Personally, I don't understand this, because I think the marketing campaign has been pretty great. The posters and the trailers all look fantastic to me. But perhaps Cruise's off-screen personality has finally caught up with his box office. Anyway, Deadline's Mike Fleming reports that Paramount executives will be watching Knight and Day's box office very closely this weekend. In some spectacularly bad timing, it's the same weekend they'll be reading the latest script for Mission: Impossible 4, which has just been turned in by Alias writers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. While the alarmist possibility that the studio will scrap the next franchise entry altogether seems highly unlikely (although it is yet another reason to go see Knight and Day this weekend, I suppose), Fleming floats another intriguing prospect: "I'm hearing the most likely course of action is for the studio to beef up the subplot that introduces a new and younger agent who becomes Hunt's protege. The studio could then turn the franchise into more of a two-hander than the Mission: Impossible films traditionally have been."
Here's an even better suggestion, Paramount: look to the TV show. Instead of just making it a "two-hander," make it a team movie, the way the show was. That's what Mission: Impossible should be! And J.J. Abrams started to take it in that direction with the introduction of characters played by Maggie Q and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. (We still haven't heard any word on whether any of those characters will return for the next installment.) But at least a two-hander is a step in the right direction. I do hope that the studio doesn't interfere too much, though, with whatever producer Abrams and director Brad Bird have cooked up for M:I-4. They're two of the most creative people in the business, and I can't wait to see what they've got in store for Ethan Hunt.