Variety is reporting that Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation writer-director Christopher McQuarrie is in talks to return for the sixth installment of the spy franchise, presumably leveraging his expertise in devising bigger, faster things for Tom Cruise to dangle off the side of. If McQuarrie does end up accepting the mission, he’ll be the first director in the series’ 20-year history to return for a second film; given that his directorial predecessors include John Woo, Brian De Palma, and J.J. Abrams, that’s something of an astonishing feat.
From a financial point of view, McQuarrie’s Rogue Nation was the second-most successful movie in the series, earning back just slightly less than Brad Bird’s 2011 outing, Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise—with whom McQuarrie’s worked on numerous projects, including Edge Of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher— is inevitably expected to return for the sixth film, pushing his 53-year-old pixie body to the limits of its endurance; Rogue Nation’s Rebecca Ferguson also has an option to reprise her role. (It’s unlikely the series will leave behind Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, or Ving Rhames, either, although nothing there is set in stone.)