If it's crap ... We'll tell you
When they decided to make a fourth 'Mission: Impossible' film, I'll admit I was pessimistic. Not that I didn't like 'Mission: Impossible III,' but I just didn't see the need to continue. Having seen Brad Bird's 'Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol' three times in theaters and countless more now that it just hit Blu-ray, I can safely say I was very, very wrong. And when Paramount saw the enormous box office returns both domestically and worldwide for the fourth installment, it was a cinch that we would be getting a fifth. My hope was that Bird would return to helm the next one as his entry was easily my favorite of the franchise. Sadly, news has broken today that this may not be in cards. During an interview with Crave, when asked whether he was planning to return, Bird had this to say...
"No, I think that one of the things that’s fun about the series is that they always pull in a different director and try to get a different kind of take on the premise. I’d probably be open to looking at it, but I think that part of one of the successes of the franchises is that they’re always reassessing it with a new director. That was one of the things that attracted me to it. It’s not a franchise where it was about dismissing your style in order to get the style of the franchise. It was more about [having] each director influence the franchise. Because whatever you think about the Mission: Impossible films, they don’t look like they were made by the same person. They’re the same premise and the same lead actor and all of that, but they feel like four distinctly different movies, style-wise."
So yes, rather distressing news. However, I respect Bird's reason for not wanting to direct another 'M:I' movie. If it were just a question of money or if he'd had a falling out with the producers, that would be annoying, but he's absolutely right about the nature of this particular franchise. Like the 'Alien' series, which he also mentions during the interview, 'Mission: Impossible's carousel of directors has been a diverse assortment. It hasn't always worked (*cough* 'M:I 2' *cough*), but it's always interesting to see how the aesthetics change from sequel to sequel. Besides, as disappointed as I may be to hear it, if Bird's heart is not in another 'M:I' movie, he shouldn't do it. With this news and Bird also parting ways with 'Here There Be Monsters,' I am wondering when we might see another live-action film from him. I know he's still hashing out '1906' for Pixar, but he proved his chops so well within the action genre that I am chomping at the bit to see him take on something else in that vein.
What do you guys think? Are you disappointed Bird is not returning to the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise? Who should direct the next one?