According to Deadline, Edward Zwick is the latest name to be attached to Jack Reacher 2, Paramount’s planned sequel to Christopher McQuarrie‘s Tom Cruise-starring action romp that was highlighted by a rare on-screen performance by Werner Herzog. Both Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, who wrote both Love & Other Drugs and The Last Samurai for Zwick, are in talks to re-write Richard Wenk‘s script for Jack Reacher 2, with Zwick presumably taking directorial duties for the film when all is said and done. It’s an interesting direction for Zwick, who has spent most of his career making overtly sentimental period pieces that often garner quite a lot of interest around Oscar season, and could reveal a new side of the director’s competent style. Many of Zwick’s films involve action but they are all marked more by his fascination with heroics and humanism, which has had a long history of bogging down his thrilling gunfights and battle sequences.
Cruise, who will serve as producer on the sequel with McQuarrie and Don Granger, is set to return as the titular ass-kicker. The first draft by Wenk, who recently wrote The Equalizer, is based off of Lee Child‘s 2013 Reacher volume Never Go Back, which details Cruise’s character’s return to his military base in Virginia which spurs a conspiracy involving his old colleagues, love interests, and deeply held grudges. There’s a lot of story in the book, which could potentially give the film a bloated feel, but there’s more than enough reason to believe that Zwick can deliver the same punch-and-kick fireworks that made Jack Reacher such an involving and odd action feature. For now, Zwick is preparing for the bow of Pawn Sacrifice, his take on the famous chess match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Stassky, played by Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber, respectively, which sees release in mid-September.