Heat Vision reports that Brad Bird (The Incredibles) is in contention to direct Mission: Impossible IV.

Tom Cruise, who is returning as secret agent Ethan Hunt, is producing this project with J.J. Abrams. Cruise has been conducting and exhaustive search for the director.

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Paramount has set May 27, 2011 for the release of this movie and hopes to start shooting this summer.

Some of the other directors in the running are Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World).

Bird has only worked in animation but he is well known for his storytelling skills and also known for his strengths in putting together "thrilling and intricate action set-pieces as well as fusing the action with large dollops of heart and emotion."

At present, the plot details for Mission: Impossible IV are being kept under wraps but it is known that Abrams worked on the story with writers Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum. They also wrote the screenplay.