'Mission: Impossible 5' to Hit Theaters in December 2015

Paramount Pictures/Album/Newscom
"Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol"

UPDATED: Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the next installment in the marquee franchise returns Tom Cruise to the starring role.

Paramount and Skydance Productions will open the fifth Mission: Impossible movie Dec. 25, 2015.

Christopher McQuarrie is directing the next installment in the marquee franchise.

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Tom Cruise will return to the role of Ethan Hunt. The movie reteams the actor with McQuarrie, who directed him in 2012's Jack Reacher. The script for the fifth edition in the franchise comes from Drew Pearce, with Cruise's Tom Cruise Productions, Paramount and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot producing.

The 2015 year-end holiday is already jammed with high-profile tentpoles, led by Star Wars: Episode VII (Dec. 18). Inferno, the next installment in Sony's Dan Brown series, likewise is set to open Dec. 18, along with Legendary and Universal's Warcraft. Set to open Dec. 25 opposite Mission are Kung Fu Panda 3 and Live By Night.

David Ellison's Skydance is co-financing Mission 5.

In December 2011, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol reinvigorated the franchise, grossing a massive $694.7 million worldwide.