Keri Russell Accepts “Mission”
Keri Russell has accepted her Mission.
The former Felicity star is reuniting with director J.J. Abrams to star opposite
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 3.
Russell will portray a junior agent mentored by Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt.
The role was originally intended to be played by Scarlett Johansson, but the Lost in Translation star pulled out of the film last month due to scheduling delays.
Lindsay Lohan had also expressed interest in the part, but Russell, 29, ultimately won out.
The cast is rounded out by Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Michelle Monaghan and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
M:I-3 received the official green light from Paramount just last week after the studio reached a deal with executive producers Cruise and Paula Wagner to pare down the budget and adjust Cruise’s profit participation deal.
Before the film got the go-ahead, rampant speculation existed that making Mission might become impossible due to its swollen budget. The New York Times also reported that Cruise’s increasingly erratic behavior of late was cause for concern among higher-ups at Paramount and DreamWorks, the two studios behind Cruise’s upcoming War of the Worlds.
Now that casting is complete, M:I-3 will begin shooting in Italy next month. The film is slated to open in theaters on May 5, 2006.
Apart from her upcoming Mission, Russell currently appears in the Steven Spielberg-produced miniseries Into the West, about life on the American Frontier. The TNT series’ premiere drew some 6.4 million viewers last Friday.