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Brad Bird talks “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” sequel and the divide between critically and commercially successful films

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

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Brad Bird is coming off a big year. In 2011, he made his big break onto the live action scene with “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” a film that went on to be both a commercial and critical success.

So it seems fair to think that producer J.J. Abrams might approach Bird to direct the next installment of the “Mission: Impossible” saga. And, as it turns out, there just might be one in the works. But if that is going to happen, Bird hasn’t heard about it yet.

“I don’t know what their plans are for that,” Bird said during an interview with IFC. “I’m sure there’s one being planned.”

When IFC chatted with Seth Rogen in a conference call promoting his hosting gig at the Spirit Awards, he admitted that he cast his Oscar Best Picture vote for “Ghost Protocol.” It likely was the only vote the film received, but at least it showed that not all Academy voters skew towards indie darlings.

“He was in the minority, but I appreciate the support,” Bird said with a big laugh.

It certainly highlights a big split between the films that the average moviegoer finds awesome and the ones nominated for Oscars. “Ghost Protocol” scored a 93 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and also made $680 million worldwide, which is no small feat. Yet it was completely ignored on the awards circuit. So we couldn’t resist asking Bird how he felt about the divide between films that the public loves and those that are rewarded at critical awards shows — a divide that isn’t as evident with animated films.

“I don’t know how to think about it. I don’t want to become cynical and start thinking that the audience will settle for anything. I prefer to think that they appreciate a well-made movie,” he said. “But, look, if you could get ahold of the Los Angeles Times from the ’30s and you open up the movie section of an old newspaper, you’ll see tons and tons of movies that you have never heard of that are starring people that were actually top stars of that day. So there were popular movies back then that have not really lasted, but they served their purpose at the time.”

Bird went on, “I’d like to think that the hit movies now that are not that good will kind of do the same thing. They’ll sort of be around, but not really at the forefront. I mean, George Raft was a big movie star in the ’30s, and yet how many people talk about George Raft now? But you bring up Jimmy Stewart or John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart or Clark Gable, everybody knows who these guys are. So the goal is to make movies that are on that sort of level and sort of rise to the top. It all becomes part of the soup of past culture, it’s just that some things [last]. People still watch Bogey movies because there’s something about his persona that still feels modern.”

Do you agree with Bird’s view on the divide between critical and commercial successes? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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