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Cartoon Culture

Brad Bird’s new friend

Here are some photos from earlier today of Brad Bird scouting locations in Prague for Mission: Impossible IV. But who’s that guy standing besides him wearing the Yankees cap? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him somewhere before.

Tom Cruise

[UPDATE: Many more photos added after the jump!]

Tom Cruise

This next photo offer a clear view of Cruise and Bird’s shoes. Clearly, Cruise has the advantage in the shoe height department. I’d wager that Brad is actually taller than Cruise, but he’s got to work on his posture.
Tom Cruise

Tom CruiseTom CruiseTom CruiseTom Cruise

(Photos via JustJared.com and Oh No They Didn’t!)

  • wow. just wow. cant wait to see how it comes out. really more anticipating his next animated project though. ray gunn please?

  • holyduck

    Well it looks like– OH MY DEAR GOOD LORD!!!!!!!

  • Connor

    I enjoy the ‘Brew’s new paparazzi slant.

    …Imagining a vintage daffy duck passed out in a gutter outside Studio 54….

  • tedzey


  • More important than the Yankees cap, look at what Bird’s wearing. Win!

  • Perhaps the movie will have cool animated titles or credits?

    Or maybe the IMPOSSIBLE mission is to revive 2D?

  • get a clue

    BB directs MI3.
    What an incredible waste of talent.
    Makes me sad.

    • Movie Rat Ian

      But it’s the 4th one, not the third.

      This one has zombies.

  • Is Brad Bird like 5’6″?

  • uh oh.

    Tomorrow’s headline: Brad Bird converted to Scientology.

    (Aww shuddup. Someone was gonna make the dumb joke.)

  • I hope the film does really well & convinces Hollywood to give Bird a big budget to make whatever film he wants, animation or live-action.

    • pheslaki

      Yeah – otherwise, what a waste of Bird’s time.

      • Pickup Truck

        Well, I’m sure he has a family to feed. Maybe it would be a waste of your time instead.

  • Aaron

    Brad Bird is actually SHORTER than Tom Cruise?!!

  • Emily

    Nice cap, Mr. Bird.

  • i’m sure Tom Cruise is just happy to be photographed next to someone shorter than him

  • Is that Will Smith behind him!! What’s up with that doc?

  • Stephen Sues

    Look at Cruise’s shoes. Those are lifts if I ever saw ’em.

  • fa fa

    People are quick to say that Tom is taller EVEN THOUGH Tom is wearing those lifts. I guess they can fool people that well, it’s actually working.

  • Eric Spector

    I wonder what they had for lunch!?!

  • Well, this might be good!

  • Abu

    Iron Giant would destroy Xenu. Just saying.

  • secret goldfish

    To me this is just further proof that Tom Cruise is good at choosing rising talent in order to prop up his falling star and keep himself relevant.

    Unfortunately, the past has proven that Tom Cruise ego is more interested in hiring talent in order to be associated with their rising star than to actually take their advice and listen to them, just look at the body language in the second photo if you are wondering who is in charge here.

    It is a darn shame to waste Brad Bird on the fourth outing of a very average live action franchise, especially a franchise which was supposed to be about a team of spies but became more about one star’s ego.

    It makes no sense to me why someone as good as Brad Bird would associate himself with the MI franchise apart from the opportunity to helm a big budget film. (Does he need to helm something big in the live action realm before they’ll greenlight his live action earthquake film?)

    Someone please remind/tell Brad that Tom needs him far more than Brad needs Tom.

    • The body language is just because of the “must slouch when standing next to Tom” clause.

      I’m doubtful that Tom Cruise chose Brad Bird (does he even still get to do that?) for the buzz he brings. To the general public Bird is unknown, and there’s no way the trailer for MI4 is going to say “from the director of ‘Ratatouille!'”

      I bet Brad Bird made a good pitch for his vision of the film to whoever the powers were… maybe Cruise, maybe not… and they liked it.

      • …but the trailer for Mission: Impossible 4 COULD say: “From the director of the Incredibles” – an action film considered by many to be as good as, or better than, Tom Cruise’s M:I movies.

      • Could… but won’t. Not if his goal is to have people think of him as Live-action.

        Hyping this movie may be tough. “Cruise” doesn’t reel the audiences in anymore, “Bird” won’t either.

        Has anyone other than Disney himself used their animation cred to promote their live action ventures?

        I’m curious to see what the angle is going to be.

    • “(Does he need to helm something big in the live action realm before they’ll greenlight his live action earthquake film?)”

      I believe the answer to that is yes… and that that’s the primary reason Brad Bird chose to accept the directing role on Mission Impossible. I wish he could just have gotten to make the movie he wanted to make. Oh well, at least this may have a chance at being the best of the Mission Impossible movies.

  • Matt Sullivan

    brad also has the animator slouch that prevents us from being as tall as we want to be :P

  • clueless

    “from the director of ‘the incredibles!’”

    • Oliver

      Yeah, but for ‘MI4’ to be as good an action movie as ‘The Incredibles’ was a superhero movie, it’d have to be as good as, say, ‘Terminator 2’, and I can’t see that happening.

  • He should do Ghostbusters III

  • NavRro

    wow. You got to hang out with kd lang!! I’m jealous.

  • In all seriousness, I don’t see how this movie can’t be totally amazing regardless of whether or not Tom Cruise is associated with it. It’s Brad Bird, for god’s sake!

  • Marc Baker

    Brad Bird teaming up with Tom Cruise is like Michael Savage teaming up with Ryan Seacrest. What a world we live in.

    • This comparison is very odd. Michael Savage is a cruel, heartless egomaniac. So, Brad Bird is like Michael Savage? Hardly. Sorry, sir, you are way, way off here. This makes no sense. Brad Bird has a heart, and a big one. Just watch Ratatouille if you don’t believe it. Ryan Seacrest isn’t worth the time to even comment on. Tom Cruise is a very successful Hollywood action star. What in the world is your point??? Try again, but try harder.

    • Vzk

      There’s a certain something Tom Cruise and Michael Savage may have in common.

    • He should team up with Dan Aykroyd

  • robert pope

    Well, if this thing is a hit, that’ll largely be the end of Bird’s animation career. History has shown (at least in drips and drabs) that whenever the animator gets to direct live-action and enjoy all of it’s many perks (see Frank Tashlin) the animated medium is quickly abandoned. Reminds me of Heck Allen’s interview from “Tex Avery-King of Cartoons” in which Heck opines that the best thing Tex could have done for his career would have been to get into directing live-action comedies…

    • droosan

      George Pal managed to keep his feet in both worlds. Occasionally, within the same film. ^_^

  • I wonder if the MI films are now becoming entrance exams for directors trying to break into “big studio” film making.

    MI 3 was JJ Abrams break through to big budget film making and allowed him to prove himself in that arena.

    It seems they are now giving Brad the same opportunity. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out beyond this film.

  • Matt D. Lee

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see Brad Bird’s take on M:I!

  • Mr. Crankypants

    “Join Special Agent Ethan Hunt in a race against time to bring down the nefarious puppet-master behind a brainwashing UFO cult!”

  • Inkan1969

    The most brilliant director of animated features in the United States, and he’s directing “Mission Impossible 4”? :-(

  • I think BB is contractually obligated to slouch when standing near Cruise.

  • AJC

    Five words: Peter Graves as a zombie.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Brad is the perfect person to direct the new Mission Impossible movie. I know Bird would probably like to do a James Bond movie, but this fits him better. The Mission Impossible movies have always been more about the director (De Palma, Woo) than the James Bond series. Plus, I can’t wait to see a new action movie from someone who actually knows how to pace, compose, and shoot action sequences without relying on shaky camera as a crutch.

  • Soooo, is this pretty much that Brad Bird has to prove that he can direct a live-action feature before anyone will consider the budget he’s asking for 1906? :P

    also… I’m eerily reminded of a paparazzi gossip site right now; this stalking of famous animators isn’t going to become too common, is it? :)

  • Brody

    wait — there were *two sequels* to that awful movie adaptation of the classic TV series…?!?

  • pappy d

    Good for Brad! The job will be 60% CGI, anyway.

    Nice deferential stoop, too. Students of anatomy will note that Cruise’s knees are way too high for those to be regular shoes.

  • Hey waitaminnut—didn’t Brad play the bad guy in the last M:I movie?!