Mission Impossible III is the third action film based on the spy-themed television series Mission: Impossible starring Tom Cruise who reprises his role of IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The film was directed by J. J. Abrams. It was first released on April 26, 2006 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and widely released in the United States on May 5, 2006. Filming began in Rome, Italy in July 2005. The film had been kept under extremely tight wraps, and very little was known of its plots or new featured characters during filming. Location filming took place in China (Shanghai, Xitang, and Zhouzhuang), Germany (Berlin), Italy (Rome and Caserta), the United States (California and Virginia), and Vatican City.