EXCLUSIVE: J.J. Abrams Says That Tom Cruise Is Part Of The Plan For 'Mission: Impossible IV'

Last summer, news started to percolate about the IMF returning to the big screen in "Mission: Impossible IV." In the months that followed, more news trickled out. The biggest break was word that "M:I III" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman would be replaced by "Alias" writer/producers Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum. A big question still remained however: would star Tom Cruise be back for a fourth helping?

MTV's Josh Horowitz asked producer and "M:I III" director J.J. Abrams that very question on the National Board of Review red carpet two nights ago.

"The goal would be for that to occur," Abrams said, skirting around actually mentioning anyone or anything by name. So Josh pressed him a little.

"If I say the words though-- I've seen what you do," the "Star Trek" director said with a smile. "You warp and twist, you make me say things that just break me down." Turning serious again, Abrams acquiesced. "The goal would be for Tom [Cruise] to be in the film."

What he wouldn't say anything about was the story, other than admitting that there is one. "A script is being written," Abrams said. "There's an insanely long outline, it is probably longer than the script. It's going great... we're very excited and we're looking to make that movie."

Where would you like to see the story go in "Mission: Impossible IV"? Would you like another adventure focused on Ethan Hunt or do you think it's time to pass the torch along to some younger blood?