Starring opposite Tom Cruise turned into an impossible mission for Scarlett Johansson.

After a series of delays and script changes, the Lost in Translation thesp has pulled out of Mission: Impossible III, which was due to begin shooting this summer.

Johansson's rep said the actress had to move onto other obligations, including the as-yet-untitled Woody Allen film she'll be working on this summer.

Also opting out of Mission was Matrix star Carrie-Anne Moss, who reportedly shared Johansson's concerns about changes in the script and production delays.

Director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) confirmed the script changes, but did not comment on who would be replacing Johansson and Moss.

"The script was rewritten," Abrams told About.com. "I'm a huge fan of each actor that they cast originally, but to have kept the actors when we are reinventing the story would have been an odd process.

"To say, 'Write a script with these people in mind for characters that haven't been written,' just felt like we had to start over with a clean slate."

Johansson and Moss' exits are just the latest in a series of snafus that have plagued the picture since the project began.

The film's original helmer, David Fincher, dropped out in favor of another film and Joe Carnahan (Narc) took the reins.

However, Carnahan quit in July 2004, citing creative differences and putting Team Mission into overdrive in the search for a director.

Abrams was tapped to take over, but could not fit in the film's September 2004 start date, due to scheduling conflicts with Lost.

While Paramount had originally scheduled M:I-3's release for May 6, it was pushed back to June 29 to give filmmakers more time.

However, due to Abrams' time crunch, Cruise elected to push the whole project back until next summer and focus instead on War of the Worlds, due out on June 29.

Apparently, the various delays proved too much to take for Johansson and Moss. Ving Rhames and Kenneth Branagh are still attached to star with Cruise.

Despite the casting shakeups, Abrams said shooting would still commence in July as scheduled.

With Cruise's history of dating his leading ladies, we can't help wondering if Katie Holmes will be stepping in to make this Mission possible.

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