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Tom Cruise chooses to accept new 'Mission'

Also in Tattle: German opera angers patrons, teen girl gets Hugh Hefner's attention, Joe Francis convicted and more.

Film actor and producer Tom Cruise. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards.
Film actor and producer Tom Cruise. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards.Read more

"GOOD MORNING, Tattle readers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read this first item about Tom Cruise signing on to play Ethan Hunt in a fifth edition of 'Mission: Impossible.' As always, should any member of your Tattle force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions, but please make sure they transfer their Daily News subscription to a young, living relative. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck."

According to the Los Angeles Times, the $700 million worldwide box-office gross of 2011's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" has led to a "Mission" change.

Tom Cruise is not giving up the ghost to Jeremy Renner and will star in and produce the new "MI:5" sequel, developing it with director-producer J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot.

It seems to be Hollywood's goal that Abrams ("Star Trek," "Star Wars") be involved with every successful movie series.

A fright at the opera

Richard Wagner's opera "Tannhauser," which premiered in 1845, is a love story mixing mythology and medieval history.

A modern production of the opera, however, has caused a stir in Germany because of Nazi-themed scenes showing people dying in gas chambers and a family having their heads shaved and being executed.

Audience members at the Dusseldorf opera house "booed and were shocked" by Saturday's opening performance, according to a spokesman.

Monika Doll said the company of Deutsche Oper am Rhein is debating whether to tone down the provocative parts.

The head of the city's Jewish community, Michael Szentei-Heise, called the show "tasteless."

Wagner, an ardent anti-Semite, died in 1883. He was Adolf Hitler's favorite composer.

Teen wins Playboy prize

Jessica Ahlquist is among this year's winners of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award.

The atheist teenager fought to have a prayer banner at her Rhode Island public high school removed. She won in the education category for what a press release called her "courageous and successful lawsuit."

A May 22 reception is scheduled at the Playboy Mansion, in L.A. Winners each get $5,000 and a plaque.

Ahlquist was threatened for challenging the Cranston school banner's constitutionality. A state rep, continuing the quality political discourse in America, called her "an evil little thing."

The Hefs were established in 1979 to honor people's contributions to protecting First Amendment rights.


* Sitcom guru Chuck Lorre ("Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory") is joining with Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello to create a musical based on their 1998 album, "Painted From Memory."

Bacharach said yesterday that Lorre contacted him and said that he wanted to write a story to go with the music.

Costello said that he and Bacharach are writing additional music for the play.

* "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment stemming from a dispute with three women after a night out at a Hollywood club in 2011.

L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a statement that after a two-week trial, a jury convicted Francis, 40, of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Francis met the three women as they celebrated a college graduation at the Supper Club in Hollywood on Jan. 29, 2011, took one of them by the hand as he left and took her to his limo. The other two followed thinking that Francis was giving them a ride to their car, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that Francis took the women to his home and a dispute broke out when he tried to separate one from the other two, grabbing one of the women by the hair and throat and slamming her head into the floor.

* A Las Vegas judge has scheduled a September trial for Flavor Flav on felony charges that he chased and threatened his longtime girlfriend's 17-year-old son with a butcher knife.

He could get up to 12 years in prison if he's convicted.

* A production company owned by TV psychologist Dr. Phil has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas claiming improper use of an interview he conducted with the man who perpetrated a hoax on former Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o.

Texas-based Peteski Productions is claiming in the suit that Gawker Media's Deadspin website committed copyright infringement by airing portions of Dr. Phil's interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who said that he created the online persona of Lennay Kekua, a nonexistent woman whom Te'o said he fell in love with despite never meeting her in person.

The suit claims that Deadspin aired part of the interview before "Dr. Phil" broadcast it.

* And in today's Justin Bieber news, Dubai police say that the teen heartthrob is not a big Belieber in the speed limit.

Dubai newspapers quoted a police official saying that the Biebs racked up a "number" of speeding fines before being pulled over in his white Lamborghini.

But this being Dubai, you're not out-running the cops just because you have a sports car. Dubai police have their own Lamborghini.

Lambo outchasing Bieber? No worries. Dubai police-pool cars include a Mercedes, Aston-Martin and Ferrari.

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.