Mission: Blacklist is not the upcoming fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise starring Tom Cruise. For the time being, that's concisely called Mission: Impossible 5. So, what's Mission: Blacklist? Well, as every ardent Robert Pattinson fan will tell you, that's a Pattinson movie project initially announced in early May 2012. Pattinson is attached to this Embankment Films-financed (or to-be-financed) production based on Eric Maddox and Davin Seay's book Mission: Black List #1 - The Inside Story of the Search for Saddam Hussein - As Told by the Soldier Who Masterminded His Capture.
The title of Maddox and Seay's book says it all. But just in case, here's the brief Mission: Blacklist synopsis found on the Embankment Films website:
Unlike other Interrogators fresh out of training, Eric Maddox (Robert Pattinson) has a brilliant and beautiful mind. He has a unique ability to decipher highly complex patterns from seemingly random events.
His mission is to trap the world's most wanted man, Saddam Hussein – and he must defy his superiors to uncover his prey. The closer he gets to the truth, the more dangerous the hunt becomes…
Mission: Blacklist filmmakers: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire unlisted?
To date, Robert Pattinson is the only announced Mission: Blacklist cast member. As initially reported on the film's fansites (listed at the bottom of this post), director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire (Johnny Mad Dog) is no longer listed in the “film makers” section – whether due to a glitch or some other reason (I've contacted Embankment Films). However, screenwriters Erik Jendressen (Band of Brothers), Dylan Kussman (X2, Leatherheads) and Trace Sheehan (Grace & Mercy / The Bounceback) remain there. [Addendum: On his Twitter account, responding to an inquiry about Sauvaire's disappearance from the Mission: Blacklist credits, Dylan Kussman replied: “Good eye, and a safe assumption.”]
The listed Mission: Blacklist producers are Ross M. Dinerstein, Kevin Waller, Al Corley, and Bart Rosenblatt. Jonathan Dana and Eugene Musso are the movie's executive producers.
According to Embankment Films, the Mission: Blacklist production status is as follows: Pre-production in summer 2013; shooting in late summer 2013; ready for release in summer 2014. Needless to say, “ready for release” or “delivery” doesn't mean that Mission: Blacklist will come out in summer 2014; it just means it'll be ready then – in case any distributors are interested.
Not long ago, an August filming date for Mission: Blacklist was announced on a local Oklahoma newscast following an interview with Eric Maddox, who, by the way, asserts he never used torture while working as an interrogator for the U.S. military. Also of note, Maddox is a devout Christian – “My faith plays an absolute role in every single thing I do” – who has said he doesn't “believe in vampire movies and stories” and “just didn't know” who Robert Pattinson was prior to Pattinson's involvement on Mission: Blacklist.
Mission: Blacklist and Robert Pattinson's busy schedule
Back to Mission: Blacklist's purported filming date: If shooting will commence in August, how can Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, in which Robert Pattinson is to star opposite Naomi Watts and James Franco, start shooting in Morocco in September? Division Films, a Queen of the Desert co-producing entity, tweeted about the September filming date a few weeks ago. Queen of the Desert initially had a late 2012 shooting schedule, later postponed to March 2013. In this Gertrude Bell biopic, Pattinson is to play T.E. Lawrence a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia.
And that's not all. David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, to feature Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, and Evan Bird is to begin filming in July in Los Angeles and Toronto.
In sum, some dramatic rearranging of shooting schedules will have to be effected. Else, Pattinson will in all probability have to drop out of at least one of those projects.
Embankment Films summer projects
In case all the Embankment Films projects pan out, the newly founded indie financing company will be quite busy this summer. Besides Robert Pattinson's Mission: Blacklist, other Embankment projects due to start pre-production in the coming summer months are The Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, to star Anthony Hopkins and to be directed by Daniel Alfredson; Pressure, with Ron Scalpello at the helm; Sleeping Dogs, to be directed by Erica Beeney; and Birdsong, to star Nicholas Hoult under the direction of Rupert Wyatt.
Robert Pattinson in The Rover
Also announced last year, at the same time as Mission: Blacklist, was another Robert Pattinson movie project, The Rover. Directed by Animal Kingdom's David Michôd and co-starring Guy Pearce, The Rover was shot in Australia earlier this year. The film has no official release date as yet, though a late 2013 launch is a possibility.
Robert Pattinson 2012 movies
Robert Pattinson was seen in three 2012 releases: Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnellan's Bel Ami, which had been actually shot in 2010; David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, which received mixed notices in the U.S. – though Pattinson himself was not infrequently singled out for praise; and Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the last installment in the Twilight franchise co-starring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner.
Mission: Blacklist poster featuring Robert Pattinson's eyes: Embankment Films.
Eric Maddox quotes re: Robert Pattinson, his Christianity: OUDaily.com.
Mission: Blacklist / Robert Pattinson fansites and Twitter accounts: @blacklist_blog, mapstothestars-film.com, missionblacklistfilm.com.