Starseeker's pic of Cruise doing crazy shit outside of the hotel he was also staying in.

Usually the late November / early December tentpole date is filled with the Johnny-come-lately fantasy films that have been trying for years to capture that LOTR magic. This year though, it’s filled with the biggest of spy action as Mission: Impossible returns to screens with a new director and a star hungry for another hit. As the film starts to hit the post-production grind and time comes to start building the buzz, producer (and story co-writer) JJ Abrams and director Brad Bird are starting to let slip their first impressions of the footage.

As you might imagine, they’re quite enthusiastic.

While attending Super 8 events over the weekend, previous M:I director JJ Abrams, let loose his thoughts on what he’s seen so far from Bird’s take. /Film was around to catch a bit of the talk.

“It’s going great. Brad Bird directed an incredibly fun movie. To watch him do his first live-action movie is kind of surreal because you see these moments that are really funny, and specific and  about character — and you think, “WOW, that’s so Brad Bird”… but then you think, “God, I’ve never seen a Brad Bird live action movie, ever.” So its a weird thing to see stuff that feels… He’s a great filmmaker who just happens to have been using the tools of animation. It’s going great. And the IMAX footage in particular is looking INSANE.”

Meanwhile, MTV managed to catch up with the Bird himself to get his take on the stunts and Tom Cruise’s flair for self-endangerment.

“I think the craziest thing is that they’re real they’re not digital. That’s Tom Cruise on the tallest building in the world, he’s doing all that stuff… People won’t believe it, but we shot it in IMAX so it’s there for everyone to see.”

Touché Bird, touché. Paramount made a deal with IMAX many months ago, so you can expect several of their film’s to pull a TDK and feature portions in the mega-sized format. It sounds like M:I being one of the first among them will exploit the format in a big way. I can imagine Cruise, who is notorious for being extremely excited and engaged with this kind of action, being unwilling to hand over stuntwork on the tallest building in the world in the highest-resolution format available. I’m just pleased its Brad Bird acting as the guiding hand for all of this madness, as it jacks up the odds that this will be more than just standard action MEGA-sized, but actual high-quality action filmmaking taken to the next level.

Look for a trailer on one of the big blockbusters before the season’s end.

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