According to Variety, Keri Russell has joined the cast of Paramount's Mission: Impossible 3, reuniting the thesp with director J.J. Abrams.

Russell will portray a trainee agent mentored by Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character in the pic, set to begin lensing July 18 in Italy. Role had been filled last year by Scarlett Johansson before the film was delayed.

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Russell and Abrams broke through in 1998, when Abrams partnered with Matt Reeves to create "Felicity," which turned Russell into a star and put the then-fledgling WB net on the TV map. She recently appeared in New Line's ensemble drama The Upside of Anger.

Paramount officially greenlit Mission: Impossible 3, produced by Cruise and Paula Wagner, last week after cutting the budget and revising Cruise's gross participation deal. Ving Rhames will reprise his role as sidekick Luther Stickel; Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Philip Seymour Hoffman are also in the cast.