McQuarrie, Ferguson Back For Sixth “Mission”?

When Brad Bird’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” drew rave reviews and $694 million at the global box-office in 2011, it gave the film franchise a much needed kick in the pants and led to the relatively fast release (by this series’ standards anyway) of the next chapter.

Christopher McQuarrie’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opened this Summer, less than four years later, and the result has essentially matched its predecessor – earning only slightly less coin ($682 million) but nabbing slightly better reviews (75/100 over 73/100 on Metacritic).

Paramount and Skydance are certainly happy with it, so much so that they’re keeping McQuarrie onboard as they’ve hired him to write and potentially direct the next installment which aims to go into production and begin filming by August next year. Sources tell Variety that talks are progressing towards a deal being closed and McQuarrie has nothing major on his upcoming slate to impede him from doing this ‘Mission’.

Tom Cruise is set to star, while the studio also reportedly holds an option on actress Rebecca Ferguson to reprise her scene-stealing role of Ilsa Faust from ‘Rogue Nation’. It’s not indicated in the report, but it’s likely series regulars like Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames will be back too.

Studio and reps for McQuarrie have declined to comment. Cruise is currently filming “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” in New Orleans.