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How Else Can Paramount Make Us Forget Tom Cruise Is in Mission Impossible 4?

Poor Tom Cruise. Yesterday we learned that Paramount is adding Jeremy Renner to the fourth Mission Impossible movie as an operative who will someday inherit the franchise from Cruise. Today, we find out that they're also adding a female agent — Paula Patton and Lauren German are being considered, reports Deadline — and that MI4's title will not include the words "Mission Impossible," but, rather, completely different words ("much as Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel was simply titled The Dark Knight," says Variety), presumably to distance the film from previous installments that more prominently featured Tom Cruise. So how else might the studio downplay his involvement?

A few suggestions:

• You know how they're always using those cool lifelike masks in Mission Impossible movies? They could have Cruise wear a Robert Pattinson one for MI4's entire running time.

• Replace the Mission Impossible theme song — so identifiable with Cruise and the previous MI movies — with Cee-Lo's "Fuck You."

• Have Ethan Hunt lose the use of his legs during MI4's first few minutes, requiring him to transfer his consciousness into the body of a Na'Vi.

• Schedule his MI5 costume fittings during the MI4 publicity tour.

• Cast Mel Gibson as another fellow operative.

Surely you have better ideas! You know where to leave them.

Inside Par's 'Mission' Revamp [Variety]
More Casting Intrigue On 'Mission: Impossible' [Deadline]