Paramount scared to call M:I 4 er, M:I 4!?

Yesterday it was announced that Oscar Nominee Jeremy Renner will be one of the two floating heads – the other being series star Tom Cruise – on the upcoming “Mission : Impossible 4″ one-sheet.

Today it was revealed that Paramount, seemingly even scared to release a film that’s title is associated with ‘Tom Cruise’ , likely won’t be calling the film “MI:4″ – in fact, it likely won’t bare the “Mission : Impossible” moniker at all. It’s potentially going to go the “Dark Knight” route and pick a title that’s not automatically identified as being part of a series.

Variety also says the film won’t pick up from where J.J Abrams’ “Mission : Impossible 3″ left off – whatever that means (no Michelle Monaghan?). Unlike the previous films, where Cruise’s Ethan Hunt led a team, this new film will center around only two IMF agents – Hunt and Renner’s character. And apparently Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) will have just as much screentime as his big-time co-star. Should this film be successful, the studio apparently wants to retain the services of both Cruise and Renner for another “Impossible” mission – but it’s possible that in the next film the latter will have the lead role while Cruise’s Hunt will be reduced to a secondary character.

Also on the topic of “Mission… whatever they call it”, Deadline reports that the hunt is on to find a female operative (which is kinda confusing considering Variety says the film will only center around Cruise and Renner’s agents – unless, of course, this female agent is killed or even kidnapped within the first few minutes thus pathing the way for Cruise and Renner to suit up!?). Actresses that have tested for the role include Kristen Kruek (Lana Lang from “Smallville”), Paula Patton (“Precious”) and Lauren German (“Hostel Part 2″). Not sure whether this is the same role that the previously announced Jacinda Barrett (“Middle Men”) and Noomi Rapace (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) were looking into.

The third sequel to “Mission : Impossible” will be directed by Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) and produced by J.J Abrams (“MI:3″).