‘Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol’ Is Loaded With Brad Bird’s Signature Style, Says J.J. Abrams

Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams successfully restored Ethan Hunt to big-screen glory with “Mission Impossible III,” but when “Ghost Protocol” comes our way this December, Abrams will be stepping away from the director’s seat in favor of a producer role.

But don’t worry: the mission is in the very capable hands of Brad Bird, the man responsible for animated classics like “The Incredibles.” When we spoke with Abrams on the phone last week, the “Impossible” producer said that Hunt’s next mission is loaded with Bird’s signature style — which is pretty surreal, considering Bird’s newness to live-action filmmaking.

“I couldn’t be more excited about that,” Abrams told us about Bird’s work on the film. “Not only is the movie coming along, but what I’ve seen is kind of unbelievable.”

“It’s so weird to watch scenes for a movie by a director that feels so of that director’s style, and yet you realize you’ve never ever seen a live-action film by that director,” he continued. “You watch moments where you go, ’That’s so Brad Bird!’ And then you realize, oh, it’s so weird to have seen a Brad Bird moment with actual flesh and blood actors.'”

Abrams attributed Bird’s smooth transition to live-action filmmaking to his inherent gifts as a storyteller: “He’s a filmmaker who has happened to use animation as a medium, but it’s his filmmaking and his characters and his rhythm and his comedy, the action he can do, it’s just the humanity that he’s done that comes through in movies that have happened to be animated. Seeing that kind of nuance in a movie with people is just, I’m just so thrilled to be a part of it all. I haven’t seen the whole thing, but what I have seen is sort of mind-blowing.”

Are you excited to see Bird’s take on “Mission Impossible”? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!