A couple of weeks ago we reported that Ratatouille and The Incredibles director Brad Bird was in the running to helm the upcoming sequel Mission Impossible 4. He’s made some great films in the past but there’s a certain level of finesse one needs to follow in the footsteps of John Woo and JJ Abrams. Therefore, we were more than shocked when we learned that Bird is in the final stages of negotiations to direct the movie.

According to an exclusive report from Vulture, the only thing keeping Bird from taking on Mission Impossible 4 is his huge salary request. The director is used to working on animated films that usually take longer to produce (up to 3 years), which in turn generates a higher pay. He’s asked for a certain amount of money up front and the studio is trying to whittle it down.

Paramount is stuck between a rock and a hard place because they’ve already set MI:4′s release date for May 27, 2011, so production has to start soon. A movie of this magnitude with a high level of action and heavy special effects needs a decent amount of time in post production in order to make its deadline. They should either give Bird the money he wants or move on to someone cheaper.

What do you think the studio should do? Do you think Bird can do a good job with the film?