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Cruise Takes on 4th ‘Mission: Impossible’

He’ll star and produce with J.J. Abrams; no director set yet

Paramount Pictures confirmed it has signed Tom Cruise to reprise his starring role as Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible 4."

Cruise also will produce along with J.J. Abrams and Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.

The film will be released Memorial Day weekend of 2011. The "Mission: Impossible" films have grossed more than $1.4 billion globally.

“Tom and J.J. are great talents and we are excited to be working with them to relaunch this legendary franchise,” Paramount Pictures chairman-CEO Brad Grey said in a statement Tuesday.

There is no director yet confirmed for the fourth installment in the action series, but Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec are working on a script from an original idea by Cruise and Abrams.

The sequel is being co-financed by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, which recently made news by agreeing to make Taylor Lautner the highest-paid teen actor of his generation for "Northern Lights." That film also stars Cruise. Skydance has a first-look deal with Paramount.

Abrams’ last project with Paramount was “Star Trek,” which he produced and directed. The reboot of the sci-fi franchise grossed $385 million globally.