And now for some sobering truth, dear hearts: Barring an intervention by Xenu himself, Tom Cruise is not immortal. Although today he’s springing gazelle-like across the plains and reflecting sunbeams in his smile, there will come a time when the prison of his human form will falter and crumble, and the thetan trapped within will begin its reincarnation cycle anew. So we must begin preparing for the inevitable by ensuring that the Mission: Impossible franchise be allowed to continue until the reborn Tom Cruise is big and strong enough to reclaim the mantle—and this week, Paramount and director Brad Bird will begin that process by casting for the “young lead” who will co-star in M:I-4 and presumably take over from there once Cruise’s super-spy Ethan Hunt finds himself "retired," as most assume he will be.

The franchise’s potential new anchor? Deadline reports that the leading contenders are Kevin Zegers (the former Air Bud kid who grew into a respectable adult career beginning with Transamerica), Letters To Juliet star Christopher Egan, and Anthony Mackie, co-star of The Hurt Locker and one of the nation’s finest Tupac Shakur impersonators.  Don’t think of them as trying to replace your Tom Cruise. Just think of them as a temporary placeholder until the new Tom Cruise gets here.