After Knight and Day put a crack in Tom Cruises’ bankability there was talk of Paramount inserting a younger agent into Mission: Impossible 4 so that Cruise wasn’t the sole lead of the movie, and with Cruise approaching the grand age of 50 they may need someone else to take over the franchise at some point.
The actor is a-lock for the movie (after taking a pay cut), but it seems the younger agent talk may have some truth to it, as Keven Zegers, Christopher Egan and Anthony Mackie are currently testing for a role in the film.
From The Wrap:
Anthony Mackie, Kevin Zegers and Chris Egan are all being eyed for roles in the highly-anticipated sequel, individuals familiar with the casting process have told Deal Central. For its part, Paramount has denied to TheWrap that the trio are in contention to join the cast.
It’s unclear whether the actors are in competition with one another, or whether there are several parts to be cast, but TheWrap has learned that they’ve auditioned to be new additions to the “M:I” team, and will screen test shortly.
The age range of all three actors is 25-30 so there is a chance they may be auditioning for the same role, although I suppose there is also the possibility that Ethan Hunt requires a new team. If I had to go with one actor it would be Anthony Mackie as he was great in The Hurt Locker and deserves a shot in a big franchise movie.
Mission Impossible 4, which currently is 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.