'Mission: Impossible IV - Ghost Protocol': Tom Cruise 'Lives For' Insane Stunts, Says Brad Bird

What Does Tom Cruise 'Live For'?

Animation has no practical limits, and so putting a cartoon legend in charge of a stunt-filled movie may just be a stroke of genius. Tom Cruise certainly has no problem with it.

Animation bigwig Brad Bird, a longtime "Simpsons" and "Pixar" honcho and director of "Ratatouille," and "The Incredibles," brought his lively imagination to "Mission: Impossible IV - Ghost Protocol," for his first live-action film directorial effort. That included injecting some crazy stunts to the equation -- and says Cruise, reviving his Ethan Hunt character, loved every minute of it.

"He actually lives for that stuff. He loves it," Bird told MTV News. "Loves it. The day we finished shooting on the Burj, everyone suddenly relaxed because nothing had happened, no one had gotten injured or died, and the only one who was bummed out was Tom because he had to come down from the building. He loves that stuff."

According to producer JJ Abrams -- who directed the third film in the series and just debuted his effects-filled "Super 8" film at number one, the audience will love it just as much.

"It's going great. Brad Bird directed an incredibly fun movie," Abrams said at a weekend forum at LA's Hammer Museum (via /Film). "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."

Cruise will star in another action movie, as he recently joined the cast of the graphic novel-based "Oblivion," a future-set sci-fi film.

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