J.J. Abrams Talks ‘Mission: Impossible IV’ And Missed ‘M:I III’ Cameos

Your mileage may vary, but I myself was a fan of the J.J. Abrams-directed trilogy capper, “Mission: Impossible III.” It’s a very enjoyable action flick, well-paced with a shocker of an opening and some great twists to keep things interesting. Cool as it was though, fans learned today that it could have been just a little bit cooler.

Speaking to Collider, Abrams revealed that he had a very special appearance in mind for his last dance with the IMF. “I actually tried to get Martin Landau in ’Mission 3,’ in a very small little moment just for fun, and was told that he had no interest in doing it,” Abrams said. For those who aren’t aware, Landau played Rollin Hand, master of disguise, on the original “Mission: Impossible” TV series. Abrams might not have gotten his wish there, but he did get a treat from the seasoned actor some months later.

“But then, when I met him, after the movie came out, it was the greatest thing. We were at this restaurant in New York… and someone introduced me to Landau. They took me over and Martin Landau came over to me, extended his hand, and [pretended to lift his face off]. That was the greatest thing I’d ever seen.”

For “Mission: Impossible IV,” which Abrams is currently juggling alongside “Star Trek 2,” he’s hanging onto his hopes for a fan-serving cameo. “I just got a call that Peter Graves is in great shape, which would be a very bizarre bend in the space-time continuum, for obvious reasons,” he said. Graves, who some may remember as Captain Clarence Oveur from the two “Airplane” movies, was IMF Director Jim Phelps on the original TV series.

Head over to Collider for more from the interview, in which Abrams also talks about “Star Trek 2″ and the just-started second season of “Fringe.”