Brad Bird to Direct Next ‘Mission: Impossible’?

Mission: Impossible IIIIncredibles director Brad Bird has emerged as a possible candidate to step behind the camera for Mission: Impossible IV.

The Heat Vision blog reports that although Bird has never helmed a live-action feature, he is praised for his storytelling skills and “is known for his strengths in staging thrilling and intricate action set-pieces as well as fusing the action with large dollops of heart and emotion.”

Star Tom Cruise will reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt and is producing with J.J. Abrams.

Paramount has set a May 27, 2011 release date for the movie and is eyeing a summer start.

Cruise and Abrams have been meeting with directors including Ruben Fleischer and Edgar Wright. (In related news, Fleischer just sold an untitled buddy comedy pitch to DreamWorks.)

Bird has long been developing the live-action 1906, set around the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.