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Simon Pegg eyes return for 'M:I-4'

THR EXCLUSIVE

Simon Pegg is being brought back into the Impossible Missions Force fold.

The actor is in negotiations to reprise his character of lab geek Benji Dunn for Paramount's "Mission: Impossible 4," which is being directed by Brad Bird.

While not officially greenlighted, the movie is tracking for an early September start, and Bird has been reading actors this week.

Tom Cruise is returning as agent Ethan Hunt in a plot whose details are being kept under a lid of secrecy. J.J. Abrams, who is producing with Cruise and Paula Wagner, worked on the story with scribes Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, who have written the screenplay.

The move also would reunite Pegg with Abrams, who not only directed the third installment but also directed the actor in the rebooted "Star Trek," in which Pegg portrayed Starship engineer Scotty.

The UTA-repped Pegg will be at Comic-Con this week to showcase "Paul," the Universal-Working Title comedy about two geeks who encounter an alien while traveling across the U.S. to a comic convention.