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Wednesday 25th March, 2004
"The Green Mile" director Frank Darabont will write "Mission: Impossible 3," replacing original scribe Robert Towne, who penned the first two entries in the hit Tom Cruise franchise.
Set for release next year via Paramount, "M:I-3" will see Cruise reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt.

The first entry, 1996's "Mission: Impossible," directed by Brian De Palma , brought in $453 million worldwide.

Director John Woo 's 2000 sequel, "Mission: Impossible 2," garnered $609 million. Joe Carnahan ("Narc") will direct the new film.

Darabont worked with Cruise's Paramount-based production company, Cruise/Wagner Prods., on the actor's upcoming thriller "Collateral," which Michael Mann is directing.

Darabont's other writing credits include "Fahrenheit 451," "The Green Mile" and "The Shawshank Redemption." He also directed "Mile" and "Shawshank."

Towne, meanwhile, is now focusing on his pet project "Ask the Dust," which has been in the works for more than a quarter-century and is due to go into production next month in South Africa. He is adapting Jan Fante'S Depression-era novel of the same name as well as directing.

Salma Hayek is set to play the Mexican waitress who plans to move up in the world by marrying a wealthy American. Along the way, she meets a struggling Italian writer, played by Colin Farrell . Cruise/Wagner is producing.

Towne also is attached to direct and write a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic "The 39 Steps" for British production company Carlton Communications. Cruise/Wagner and Towne have worked on multiple projects together, including his most recent directorial outing, "Without Limits."

"i'm checking out Frank right now "

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