Keri Russell assigned new Mission

Keri Russell, forever known to the world as the winsome but conflicted college student Felicity, will be hitting the big screen in her most high-profile role to date.

Russell will star opposite Tom Cruise in Felicity creator J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible 3. The role of a junior agent under the supervision of Cruise's character was intended for Scarlett Johansson, but the young star dropped out due to scheduling delays. Russell reportedly won the part over Lindsay Lohan, who had also expressed interest.

Despite rumors of trouble due to a sky-high budget and Tom Cruise's recent publicity antics, the film will begin shooting next month. In addition to Cruise and Russell, Mission: Impossible 3 will feature Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Michelle Monaghan, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film should reach theaters on May 5, 2006.

Keri Russell is currently appearing in TNT's Into the West, a miniseries about the development of the American West.

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