Brad Pitt has been tipped to reverse the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise's struggling fortunes by replacing Tom Cruise in the fourth installment. Cruise, who played agent ETHAN HUNT in the action movies, was axed by Paramount Studios last month (AUG06) following MISSION: Impossible III's poor box office takings and his "unacceptable conduct" off screen. Now Fight Club star Pitt is being hailed as a potential savior, despite the fact he recently voiced his aversion to superstar roles, insisting: "Being a part of an ensemble is always more fun, you don't have to carry the film." An industry insider tells Britain's London Lite evening 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 will reportedly offer over $52 million (GBP29 million) for Pitt to star in the film, the single biggest wage ever paid to an actor for one film.