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About the Director
J.J. Abrams, the creator of the groundbreaking television programs "Lost” and "Alias,” takes on his greatest challenge to date as co-writer and director of "Mission: Impossible III.” After Brian de Palma and John Woo left their indelible marks on the first two films in the franchise, Cruise and Wagner sought out a new voice for the third film.

"Making a ‘Mission: Impossible' is a different experience every time,” says Cruise. "We present Ethan Hunt from a different viewpoint. I love playing Ethan; each time out, we go on that ‘Mission' ride from a new perspective. This is J.J. Abrams's vision, with his voice as a filmmaker.”

"J.J. has earned his reputation as a television maestro,” says Wagner, "but I had known J.J. from his years as a feature film writer and his scripts were always written with the amazing eye of a director. When Tom and I went back and watched the work he had directed – the pilot of ‘Lost' and his ‘Alias' work – Tom said, ‘This is it. This is the guy to direct ‘Mission: Impossible.'”

"The instant I went into J.J.'s office, we clicked, both artistically and personally,” says Cruise. "J.J.'s work has everything I love about movies: his characters, the personal stories, the twists and turns. The first thing that I said to him was, ‘What would you do with this series? I want this to be a J.J. Abrams ‘Mission: Impossible.'”

Abrams is a talent widely admired by audiences and critics alike; hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most exhilarating storytellers in television,” he recently won two Emmys – for best directing and best dramatic series – for his work on "Lost.”

The production designer, Scott Chambliss, says that Abrams' television experience prepared him – and the rest of the crew – for a run-and-gun style of feature filmmaking. "The last five years working with J.J. at that pace has been the perfect training to work with J.J. here. On ‘Alias,' we had to think on our feet and make choices quickly. Then, on ‘M:i:III,' we had so many people so well versed in this format and this scale. It was interesting to watch the integration between the TV guys and the guys who've been doing the big movies; we all figured out how to make a huge action movie in a very compressed time envelope.”

"I don't think this film could have been done without J.J.,” says Philip Seymour Hoffman. "He brings an incredible sense of humor, he's astonishingly bright and sharp, and he has a confidence about him that's absolutely necessary to steer the ship of ‘Mission: Impossible III.' He has such a sure hand that we all trust him implicitly – he kept us on the right path.”


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