Paramount Pictures has pushed back the J.J. Abrams-produced and Brad Bird-directed "Mission: Impossible IV" seven months - from May 27th 2011 to December 16th 2011.
The move isn't a major surprise, production would've had to be rushed through at a breakneck pace to reach the Memorial Day release slot. Many of the films the studio has set up for next summer are already considerably further along production-wise than the fourth 'Mission'.
The move also frees up Paramount's surprisingly packed Summer 2011 schedule which already includes "Thor" (May 6th), "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" (June 3rd), "Transformers 3" (July 1st) and "Captain America: The First Avenger" (July 21st).
The Spielberg/Abrams top-secret project "Super 8" is also scheduled for next Summer but hasn't set a specific date yet, the project could take up the late May slot now vacated by 'Mission', though it seems more likely to open in August.
The new December release slot's only competition comes in the form of Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D". Paramount opens its anticipated "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" the following week.
Tom Cruise also finally confirmed this week to Empire the news of the involvement of Brad Bird ("The Iron Giant," "The Incredibles") and says "we're working with Brad right now. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it but everything's signed... Brad is doing it."