Jeremy Renner to take over Mission: Impossible franchise?

When Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol was first announced, the rumor was that Tom Cruise was possibly looking to take a step back from the action franchise he's been the centerpiece of since 1996. There was also talk that maybe Paramount was looking to move in another direction after Cruise's less than stellar box office performance in recent years. Both of these rumors were amped up again when Jeremy Renner signed on as a young agent of Ethan Hunt's team. Was there a chance that the M:I baton could be passed to The Hurt Locker star?

Apparently yes, according to Renner himself. Talking to MTV, the actor let it be known that it's certainly in the cards for him to take over, but nothing is written in stone as of yet...

"It's a franchise to potentially take over, " he said. "I can't predict the future and what they want, but that's certainly the idea."

Renner further indicated the script is still in the evolutionary process, so whether or not this turns out to be the case is still up in the air.

Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol is directed by Brad Bird, and produced by JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise. It stars Cruise, Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Mikael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, and Josh Holloway. Look for it on December 16th, 2011!