Drew-PearceComing off the back of co-writing the immensely successful Iron Man 3, which continues to dominate the global box office, Drew Pearce has been hired by Paramount to pen Mission: Impossible 5.

THR report that Christopher McQuarrie is also in talks to direct, and that production is expected to get underway later this year.

Tom Cruise officially boarded the project earlier in the month, signing on to both star in and produce the blockbuster sequel, which will mark the return of the franchise following 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Ghost Protocol was the franchise’s most successful film to date, netting just shy of $700m. around the world, and bringing the franchise’s total box office takings north of the $2bn. mark. And with Pearce now set to write the script for Mission: Impossible 5, the future is definitely looking bright for the series’ continuation.

Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 saw Pearce make his feature debut as a writer, co-writing the script with Black. Since then, he did an uncredited rewrite on Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming action blockbuster, Pacific Rim, and was hired for a script polish for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla (though it looks like it will be uncredited, as well). And to top it all off, he was tapped by Warner Bros. to pen the anticipated Sherlock Holmes 3 for Guy Ritchie.

Needless to say, he has fast-become a writer to watch in the studio system, and Mission: Impossible 5 is just one of a handful of exciting projects he has in development.

The plot details are, naturally, being kept under wraps. But with Pearce set to pen the script, McQuarrie thought to be in talks to direct, and Tom Cruise reprising his role as Ethan Hunt, you can’t help but feel this is another slam-dunk for Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.

Mission: Impossible 5 is expected to go into production in the autumn/fall, after Cruise has finished up filming on Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros. With any luck, we’ll have concrete news on the director and some more casting in the coming months.