Yesterday we heard that Paramount were looking at Kevin Zegers, Christopher Egan and Anthony Mackie for a possible role in Mission: Impossible 4. They would add new blood to the franchise, and after the box office performance of Knight and Day it would mean Tom Cruise isn’t the sole attraction.
Well according to Deadline Paramount has scrapped tests with those actors, and has hired The Hurt Locker actor Jeremy Renner instead.
The studio has struggled to find the right co-star to play an operative opposite Cruise, and one factor was to selecting an actor who could potentially carry the series, should Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character not continue to be the emphasis. While Cruise is expected to return for a fifth installment, production chief Adam Goodman wanted a guy who could grow into a leading man in his own right. Actors like Tom Hardy and Star Trek’s Chris Pine were considered, but were booked. Goodman, sources said, felt Renner “has a Daniel Craig quality” that the studio chief liked.
Renner is a good choice, and with both Mission and The Avengers the actor could be embarking on new career path as an actor star, especially if both franchises continue beyond these films.
Mission Impossible 4, which is currently set for a December 2011 release, will be produced by J.J Abrams and directed by Brad Bird (Ratatouille). Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg will also be reprising their roles.