After great success on TV with shows like Alias and Lost, J. J. Abrams moved into the world of feature films and quickly made a name for himself as the guy that revamps flagging franchises. Recently he rebooted the Star Trek series to much critical and fan acclaim, but before that he delivered the excellent Mission: Impossible III after the lackluster M:I2. With recent talk of the next installment of the M:I franchise floating around it was only a matter of time before someone asked him if he was going to sit in the director's chair for the second time.
"I'm producing with Tom," [Abrams] said recently. "My guess is, given other things, that I will not be directing the movie."
I don't want to give anything away yet, but I will say that it's a story that will feel consistent with the world that has been created," he explained. "It's not a reboot kind of thing."
What is known is that Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec are penning the screenplay, and the whole thing came together because Cruise wanted to reunite with Abrams. "Tom asked if I'd be interested in working with him again," Abrams said. "I didn't have a sense of what the story would be, but very quickly this idea came to mind, and Tom reacted to it in a way that got me excited, and then we got André and Josh to come onboard, and they began developing the idea with us."
So there you have it. It seems that Abrams' commitment to the next Star Trek movie trumps his commitment to Mission: Impossible, though it sounds like he will be heavily involved as a producer having come up with the plot and provided the screenwriters. What do you guys think about Abrams' decision?