Tradecraft: Simon Pegg Accepts Another Mission
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simon Pegg is set to reprise his Q-like (or, given the involvement of producer J.J. Abrams, perhaps it's more accurate to say Marshall-like) role as Benji Dunn in the Brad Bird-directed Mission: Impossible 4. The trade reports that, "although not officially greenlighted, the movie is tracking for an early-Sepetmber start, and Bird was reading actors last week." Tom Cruise is set to reprise his role as IMF super-agent Ethan Hunt, although the size of that role has been the subject of keen debate over the last few weeks, since Cruise's latest spy movie, Knight and Day (review here), opened poorly in the US. (It does seem to be performing better overseas; it took the top spot at the Australian box office this past weekend.) The casting of Pegg marks the first character confirmed to recur from the Abrams-directed Mission: Impossible 3, which was probably the film series' best entry to date. (I would love to see the other surviving members of Abrams' IMF team return as well, possibly boosted to larger roles. They showed hints of fulfilling the team formula that drove the original TV series, but which the movies up until that point had steadfastly ignored in favor of a one-man, Bond-like formula instead.) Pegg also worked with Abrams on his last film, playing Scotty in 2009's Star Trek.