Apparently, Paramount is now looking at "Ratatouille" & "Incredibles" director Brad Bird as the potential helmer for the fourth "Mission: Impossible" film, which will be shepherded by JJ Abrams (who made his big screen directorial debut helming 2006's "Mission: Impossible III") and written by a couple of dudes from Abrams' "Alias" writing staff (Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec).
As we previously reported, Tom Cruise and Abrams have also approached Ruben Fleischer, director of last year's bafflingly popular "Shaun of the Dead" knockoff "Zombieland," as well as Edgar Wright, who actually directed "Shaun of the Dead." But, the addition of Bird's name is definitely interesting.
If Bird gets the job it would mark his first live action gig. For years he's has been talking about his ideal station being one that would allow him to direct computer generated films for Pixar (where he's under contract and a member of the cabal-like Pixar brain trust that makes key decisions on every film), live action films, and traditionally animated films (like his breakout film, 1999's "The Iron Giant"). His being offered a live action gig at another studio perhaps indicates that Bird is willing to leave the nest, so to speak, if the pickings are interesting enough.
If Bird does get the "Mission" job, we can at least look forward to some brisk, wonderfully edited action sequences, as the action in "The Incredibles" rivaled anything seen in big budget, live action filmmaking. He also specializes in the kind of witty, zingy, escalating-intensity fun last seen in Robert Zemeckis' heyday and at the very least, he'd up the ante from the anemic third installment, whose action set pieces more closely resembled prime time television than mega-budget studio filmmaking.
And if he doesn't grab the spot, well, it was a tantalizing proposition in the very least, and an "incredible" (yeah, bad pun, sue us) choice as director of the next "Mission: Impossible."