We've Got Hollywood Covered

Paramount’s ‘Mission: Impossible 4’ Beams Up Simon Pegg

Actor will join Tom Cruise in the sequel, which Brad Bird is directing and J.J. Abrams is producing

"Star Trek" director and "Mission: Impossible 4" producer J.J. Abrams is looking to beam up Scotty again.

Simon Pegg is in negotiations to reprise his role as lab geek Benji Dunn in the latter Paramount sequel, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Neither Pegg's representation at UTA nor the studio would confirm the talks to TheWrap.

While "Mission: Impossible 4" hasn't been officially greenlit yet, Pegg would join Tom Cruise in a bid for series continuity, should his deal close.

Paramount is smart to bring Pegg back, as he has his own group of loyal fans who will blindly follow him into theaters … except when it comes to "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" and "Run, Fatboy, Run," of course.

I admire Pegg's energy and loved his British sitcom "Spaced" but I wonder how much longer he can continue to make a career of playing geeks, nerds and fanboys. At some point, the 40-year-old English actor will have to show audiences something new.

Cruise will produce "M:I:4" with Paula Wagner and "Mission: Impossible 3" director Abrams, who also worked on the story for the latest sequel with screenwriters Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum.

With production slated to begin in September, director Brad Bird has been reading actors in recent days, and Deal Central will continue to keep an eye on the casting process for this hotly-anticipated project. "M:I:3" was the best entry in the action franchise, and I look forward to seeing Cruise reprise his role as super spy Ethan Hunt.

Pegg will be at Comic-Con this week to promote Greg Mottola's "Paul," a comedy about two geeks (Pegg and Nick Frost) who encounter an alien (Seth Rogen) while traveling across the U.S. to a Comic-Con-style convention.

Pegg next stars in John Landis' grave robbing comedy "Burke and Hare," and will lend his voice to "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." He also plays Inspector Thompson in Steven Spielberg's upcoming "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."