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Jeremy Renner to Take Over Mission Impossible franchise?

As the fourth installment of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise, Ghost Protocol, continues its shoot in Dubai, exclusive word comes from an MTV interview with The Hurt Locker’s Oscar nominated Jeremy Renner, who co-stars with Cruise, that confirms  he may be groomed to lead the M:I franchise in a new direction and effectively taking over for Tom Cruise in future sequels. Whether Cruise will be written out completely or have a minimized role is still to be determined but there has been widespread speculation since 2009, when MI4 was announced, that a younger actor or an ensemble cast could possibly take the reins for further sequels.

When asked directly by MTV if he was cast specifically so Tom Cruise could pass the torch, Renner explains “It’s a franchise to potentially take over, I can’t predict the future and what they want, but that’s certainly the idea.” Renner also added this when pressed further for information about an on-screen “passing of the torch” in Ghost Protocol or not “I can’t really go into the details of the script, because that’s still evolving, It’s Tom’s baby. He’s the engine behind the thing. What happens after that, we’ll see.”

Will you watch a Cruise-less Mission: Impossible? Does Jeremy Renner have enough star power to carry on?  Or is it more worth it to stick to something more familiar in Cruise? Everyone can decide when Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which also stars Paula Patton [Precious, Mirrors], Simon Pegg [2009’s Star Trek, Hot Fuzz], Anil Kapoor [Slumdog Millionaire] and Lost’s Josh Holloway,  hits theaters on December 16, 2011.