‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’: Ed Zwick and Lee Child on Reinventing Tom Cruise’s Reluctant Hero

     October 21, 2016

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Tom Cruise is back in ass-kicking renegade mode for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The follow-up to Christopher McQuarrie‘s lean-mean action machine finds Cruise re-teaming with his The Last Samurai director, Ed Zwick, who stepped in when McQuarrie was busy on that other little Tom Cruise vehicle, Mission Impossible. With Zwick behind the camera, Never Go Back takes a turn toward character drama, adapting from one of series author Lee Child‘s later books in which the titular lone-wolf finds himself bonding with a surrogate family.

On the run from corrupt military forces and hit with a paternity suit, Reacher teams up with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), the respected officer commanding his former unit, after she is framed for espionage, and the 15-year-old, street-smart foster kid, Samantha Dayton (Danika Yarosh), who might just be his daughter. On the run from the law and much more sinister forces, the trio sets out on a cross-country mission to find the truth.

jack-reacher-2-never-go-back-posterLast weekend, I joined Zwick and Child in New Orleans, Louisianna, where they shot the film’s climactic French Quarter showdown. We talked about why they chose Never Go Back out of Child’s 19 novels, the challenge of balancing character drama with high-speed action, and how the character of Jack Reacher has changed in the years since we saw him. Watch what they had to say in the video above and find a breakdown of what we discussed below.

Ed Zwick and Lee Child:

  • Why was Never Go Back the right book to adapt for a second feature?
  • Child talks about why he was excited to see this particular book adapted.
  • What other installments does he hope to see on the big screen?
  • Talk about the challenge of balancing the action, political thriller, and character drama elements of the story.
  • Talk about how the character of Jack Reacher has changed since we last saw him.

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