Brad Pitt is reportedly being lined up to replace Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible IV. Tom was recently dropped by Paramount Studios dropped because of his "unacceptable conduct" in public and the lackluster box office takings of the third film in the franchise.

Now it seems bosses are set to turn to Brad to rescue the ailing franchise. One industry insider told London Light newspaper: "Mission: Impossible IV will not include Tom's character, agent Ethan Hunt. They're considering a brief mention, saying Hunt retired to live a safe life with his new wife. They're set on Brad taking over as a gutsy new head operative who puts together his own unique team of specialists."

Studios bosses are allegedly considering offering Brad over $40 million to sign up for the fourth film, the single biggest fee ever paid to an actor for one film.

The actor is no stranger to the genre having already had big screen success in a number of action movies, including Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Spy Game opposite Robert Redford.

Brad - who has two adopted children, Maddox, five, and 18-month-old Zahara, and one biological daughter, four-month-old Shiloh Nouvel, with partner Angelina Jolie - is currently filming the latest addition in another successful franchise, Ocean's Thirteen, in Los Angeles.

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