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Christopher McQuarrie signs on to direct remake of Ice Station Zebra; does that take him out of M:I5?

05.06.2013

Well, it looks like the news of Tom Cruise signing on to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5 without Christopher McQuarrie attached (yet) takes another turn, as the director has just inked a deal to write and direct a remake of the 1968 cold-war era suspense thriller ICE STATION ZEBRA. Whether that means McQuarrie is out of MI:5 is anyone's guess, but that should be cleared up shortly when a helmer is announced for that project. It's certainly possible the director could tackle both, but that depends on when they're targeted for release.

The original ICE STATION ZEBRA was directed by John Sturges and starred Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown and is loosely based upon Alistair MacLean's 1963 novel of the same name, which is said to mirror real-life events that took place in 1959. McQuarrie is no stranger to shady characters in an espionage actioner, as his writing credits for THE USUAL SUSPECTS and VALKYRIE have proven. He most recently directed JACK REACHER and has long been rumored as the front-runner to take on the next MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

Here's the synopsis of the original:

Commander James Ferraday, USN, has new orders: get David Jones, a British civilian, Captain Anders, a tough Marine with a platoon of troops, Boris Vasilov, a friendly Russian, and the crew of the nuclear sub USS Tigerfish to the North Pole to rescue the crew of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a weather station at the top of the world. The mission takes on new and dangerous twists as the crew finds out that all is not as it seems at Zebra, and that someone will stop at nothing to prevent the mission from being completed

This sounds like the perfect kind of project for McQuarrie and, honestly, I'd rather see him do this than M:I5 if he had to choose. Either way, it's an intriguing project that looks like it could use an update. It's a rare case where I don't have a problem with a remake.

What do you think? Is this a better project for McQuarrie than M:I5? Is ICE STATION ZEBRA an untouchable classic?

Extra Tidbit: McQuarrie has also penned the scripts for The Wolverine and Cruise's next outing, All You Need Is Kill

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