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December 30, 1998:
   Things are moving along with the highly anticipated Tom Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible 2, according to one of our regular tipsters, ‘XP-Dracon.’ XP sent along a tip regarding the stunt crew side of the project. Here’s what he says:
   "Here's a little cool info - my neighbor's brother-in-law is a big time stunt coordinator (didn't get his name), and he just left yesterday to go to Australia, so that he can start stuntwork on Mission: Impossible 2.
   "My neighbor also says he specializes in the late Dar Robinson's creation of free-falling maneuvers, in which you fall a long way, and are halted just 20 or so feet from the ground by wenches and pullies that keep you from breaking your back.
   "So, in my opinion, I think we may see some of these stunts performed in the upcoming movie.

December 15, 1998:
   While talking to columnist Army Archerd, actress Nicole Kidman revealed that Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 2 location shooting will actually begin in Spain. Once shooting finishes up there, the production will move to Australia.

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November 20, 1998:
   Steven Spielberg has elected to shelve his next feature project, Memoirs of a Geisha, despite preliminary casting and location scouting. The director was reportedly concerned about the movie’s holiday 1999 debut hitting so close to the eve of the new millennium. Insiders now have the director focusing his attention on working with Tom Cruise on either Minority Report (see the Insider’s report earlier this week here or an in-house DreamWorks project called Spares).
   Spares, being adapted by Mark Johnson from the Michael Marshall Smith novel of the same name, follows an ex-cop named Jack Randall who tries to protect a group of ‘Spares’ - people cloned and contained by the rich until their body parts are needed. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by wars from a parallel universe called The Gap and class struggles pitting the wealthy residents of the 200-story metropolis New Richmond against the poor down below.
   Both Minority Report and Spares will have to wait for Tom Cruise to finish Mission: Impossible 2 which likely won’t begin until April at the earliest. Both projects also share similar futuristic settings which will likely require heavy special effects and may force both movies into the big-budget realm.
   But Spielberg fans looking forward to Geisha should take heart. "He will be doing Geisha," a source tells today’s Hollywood Reporter. "But I can't tell you a timetable on any of this. It will not necessarily be his next project."

November 6, 1998:
   Brit football player Vinnie Jones, who has dabbled in film with a role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, tells the Daily Mirror’s gossip hound that Tom Cruise is interested in having him fill a part in the upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel. "I would love to be in an action movie," Jones says. "But it depends on the script." Hey Vinnie: It’s Tom Cruise! It’s Mission: Impossible 2! If a real actor like Dougray Scott was brave enough to sign on to the project without a script, I’d expect someone like you to do the same.

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October 30, 1998:
   The Insider has dug up some new bits of information about the latest status of Mission Impossible 2. In addition to the recent confirmation that Thandie Newton HAS signed as the female lead in the sequel, yours truly hears by way of the Belfast News that the production will go before cameras in Australia sometime in late February.

October 22, 1998:
   Steve Zahn (Out of Sight) has signed onto the sequel to Mission: Impossible starring Tom Cruise with John Woo helming, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Other previously mentioned cast members set for the film include Dougray Scott, Ving Rhames and Thandie Newton.

October 5, 1998:
   Regular Cinescape Online contributor "T-Rex" was able to dig up some news on Mission: Impossible 2. T-Rex informs me that "Brannon Braga and Ron Moore's script for M:I2 was jettisoned when John Woo came aboard". No, this isn't a retread of the rumors which allege that Tom Cruise will write and direct M:I2 in addition to reprising his starring role as Ethan Hunt. According to T-Rex, Moore and Braga have been replaced by Wesley Strick (Face/Off) and Robert Towne (Mission: Impossible).

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September 25, 1998:
   Thandie Newton is close to a deal to play the female lead in Mission: Impossible 2, according to Variety. The trade is reporting that the film is scheduled to begin shooting in Australia in mid-January.

September 1, 1998:
   Tom Cruise and future Mission: Impossible 2 co-star Dougray Scott spent time last week bonding over a game of golf in England. Scott, who is close to accepting a prominent role in the sequel despite the fact that he has yet to see a script, is looking forward to the project according to his Mum. "He’s really looking forward to the film," she tells the Sunday Mail. "He’s going to have to do a lot of work-outs because it’s going to be really action-packed."

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August 29, 1998:
   The script for Mission: Impossible 2 has yet to be seen - even by the only actor (other than Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames) who has been connected to the production. The Insider hears that Dougray Scott is extremely close to signing onto the project despite a complete lack of exposure to the script. "I can’t say what the film is about," Scott told the Belfast Newsletter. "I would if I could, but I don't know."
   The actor also questioned earlier reports by the trades that he would be cast as the heavy opposite Cruise. "I don't even know if I'm going to be a baddie or a goodie, or if the character will be as straightforward as that," he revealed. "I'll be in the gym with a trainer between now and January and I'll definitely have to cut down on the cigarettes."
   Scott also tipped that he has had a number of discussions with Cruise and John Woo about the sequel flick which will begin a four-month shoot beginning in January. The movie will likely film in Asia or Australia according to the report. "I am excited about working with Tom Cruise. He’s a brilliant movie actor and someone I've always rated very highly."

August 29, 1998:
   Brian De Palma tells the Toronto Sun that his commitment to the upcoming Howard Hughes project starring Nicolas Cage (which he says "was Nic’s idea") prevented him from even considering a repeat of his directorial duties on the sequel. "Why would I be [available to direct the Mission: Impossible 2]," De Palma says. "There’s nothing more interesting to do other than make money."

August 4, 1998:
   Tom Cruise may not have announced Mission: Impossible 2 as his next pic yet, but that hasn't kept the propaganda department at Paramount from sending some mixed signals. Today's Variety reports that Dougray Scott (currently seen playing Prince Henry in Ever After) is talking up a possible turn as the bad guy in the long-awaited sequel, which the trade also confirms will be directed by John Woo. Okay, cool, I can see that since it was reported in this space months ago. Anyway, yours truly dropped a dime to the publicists at Paramount, who told me "No casting has taken place." While it's always possible that Paramount's marketing department is behind the curve on this one, it is important to note that Variety admits that no one at Paramount or Scott's rep firm could be reached for comment. Which leaves one to deduce that the tip may have originated at Cruise/Wagner Productions, who are sheparding the project on the Paramount lot. Calls to C/W referred the Insider back to Paramount's publicity department. Needless to say, the Insider felt a lot like Ethan Hunt today trying to squeeze out info on this story through the front-door channels.

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May 4, 1998:
   The Los Angeles Times highlighted info from inside sources who revealed that Tom Cruise has all but committed to the Mission: Impossible sequel. According to the report Cruise has yet to approve the script (being penned by Trek's Brannon Braga and Ron Moore) but is in negotiations with John Woo to direct. The paper reveals that the production will begin no later than this fall.

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April 29, 1998:
   Tom Cruise may be making his way back to London for the EWS re-shoots within the next couple of weeks, but that hasn't stopped the actor from commenting on the slow-moving sequel to Mission: Impossible. Yours truly has heard from an intrepid contributor who claims that Cruise confirmed on an entertainment show (like Access Hollywood --- the tipster wasn't entirely positive) that Tom Cruise is pleased with the progress that screenwriters Ron Moore and Brannon Braga have made in crafting a worthy follow-up to the successful flick.

April 16, 1998:
   The Insider has received new information that Brannon Braga and Ron Moore ARE being brought in to write a new draft of Mission: Impossible 2 for Paramount. According to our tipster TrekHunter, Moore confirmed on AOL that he and Braga are collaborating on the sequel. The following transcript was submitted by TrekHunter:

Q: You are co-writting Mission Impossible 2 with Braga , right ?
A: "It's true. It's very cool. Tom Cruise is a very nice, very interesting guy. And I can tell you virtually nothing else about it."
TrekHunter also revealed in the transcript he turned over to the Insider that Moore and Braga continue to work on the vid-game adaptation of Area 51 that has been bouncing around recently:
Q: What has happened to Area 51 ?
A: "It's still alive, but has been moved back."

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March 26, 1998:
   Confirming a point that Cinescape Online made last month, Garth Franklin's super-cool Dark Horizons page reports that Oliver Stone is still considering the director duties for Mission: Impossible 2 according to an interview he gave to an Australian radio station. Stone apparently is still waiting for a final script supporting comments Tom Cruise made several weeks ago.

March 19, 1998:
   The start date for Mission: Impossible 2 may be further delayed now that Ving Rhames has set to star as the title character in Paramount's upcoming Sonny Liston biography this year. With continuing problems rumored to be plaguing the Mission 2 script, production may not begin until late this year.

March 6, 1998:
   Fresh from his 16-month stint on the set of Eyes Wide Shut, Tom Cruise described his experience with Stanley Kubrick and also offered a peek at the problems surrounding the Mission: Impossible sequel on Cinemania.
   Because of the long Eyes Wide Shut shoot, Cruise was unable to start Mission Impossible 2 when Oliver Stone was attached as director. The real culprit, however, appears to be the same problem rumored to have plagued the original film.
   "I've still got to come up with a script," Cruise told the site. "There's always that problem of 'Where's the script?' A lot of people say we'll start anyway and make it up as we go along." Cruise evidently has chosen not to go down that path again.

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February 26, 1998:
   The reports pairing Tom Cruise and John Woo in a Mission: Impossible sequel gained new momentum today with a report in Variety that the two are in talks. Woo, who told the Calgary Sun last week that he was looking at The Devil Soldier as his next directing effort, is also considering both King's Ransom for Fox and Spoils of War for his own production company. The Variety report confirmed that Oliver Stone would not helm the sequel and that the script is not completed nor has a start date been targeted.

February 13, 1998:
   While not activated, Paramount has apparently secured the domain for the upcoming Mission: Impossible 2 at www.mission2.com.

February 6, 1998:
   Daily Variety reports that Tom Cruise will receive the prestigious John Huston Award for his work in the protection and preservation of film. Oliver Stone, who made the award announcement, is confirmed by Variety to be working with Cruise on Mission: Impossible 2, the star's next role.

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Page Author:  Gilles
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