Producer Tom Cruise's first assignment: Create a film version of Mission: Impossible that brings the beloved TV spy franchise into the '90s that wouldn't self-destruct at the box office.
``The genius of Mission: Impossible,'' De Palma says, ``is that it was clever. They achieved things not (by) hitting people over the head with crowbars. We had to be very clever. Tom always wanted to make it the smartest movie possible.''
The producers had been working on a story with Sydney Pollack for a few months when Cruise hired De Palma, who said the producers went through two drafts ``nobody was happy with.'' De Palma then brought in Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List), David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and then, finally, Robert Towne (Chinatown).
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