'Mission: Impossible 4': Brad Bird, Edgar Wright on director short list
JJ Abrams is a very smart guy when it comes to world-building. His "Mission: Impossible 3" was a lot of fun, and it emphasized the team side of things more than the first two films did.
Yes, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise's character) was still front and center, and yes, the last act of the film was just basically "Run, Tom Cruise, run!" Even so, Abrams and his writers seemed to understand that part of the fun of the series is putting a team together and then watching them play their strengths off of each other.
Abrams has been working with writers to develop "Mission: Impossible 4" for a while now, but he's not going to be directing the film. Instead, they're out to other directors, according to Borys Kit at the HeatVision Blog, and they met with Edgar Wright (who is still so buried in "Scott Pilgrim" post-production that there's no way he'd be free to start work on the film when Paramount would need him to), Ruben Fleischer (who seems to be on every short list for every film in town right now), and Brad Bird.