Mission Impossible 5
Reuters / Paramount

Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson are in talks to join Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie for Mission: Impossible 5.

Production is set to start later this year with most the shoot taking place in the UK and Brit Simon Pegg also set to return as Benji for the further improbably tasks of Cruise's agent Ethan Hunt.

Joining the cast are Alec Baldwin, who will be taking a break from his war on the paparazzi to play the head of the CIA, and Rebecca Ferguson (not the X-Factor winner) who will playing the lead female part described as "a deadly femme fatale".

Jessica Chastain was originally being sought for the role taken by Ferguson, whose star is rising after a starring role in BBC drama The White Queen. She'll next be seen on the big screen in Brett Ratner's Hercules opposite Dwayne Johnson.

Director Christopher McQuarrie has priors with Cruise, who he directed in Jack Preacher. He also wrote the script for this summer's slice of Cruise action Edge of Tomorrow.

Late last year a December 2015 release date was announced and rumours have continued to circulate about the return of Jeremy Renner as William Brandt. Paula Patton and Ving Rhames are also slated to reprise their roles from previous films.