While I’m a big Tom Cruise fan, I’ll admit I wasn’t too heavily interested in 2012 Jack Reacher. I hadn’t read the books, and the movie seemed like it was probably a pretty standard macho-thriller. Then I actually saw the film and discovered that I was very, very wrong. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie had crafted a top-notch suspense thriller with intense, visceral action sequences and a strong narrative drive filled with twists and turns that kept the audience on its toes. It’s no wonder that Cruise subsequently tapped McQuarrie to direct Mission: Impossible 5.
While Jack Reacher was a sizeable success, it wasn’t a runaway hit by any means. Paramount and Skydance Productions clearly had franchise hopes given that Lee Child‘s books offered plenty of material for sequels, and good news arrived in December 2013 when we learned that Paramount and Cruise were indeed moving forward on Jack Reacher 2, which would be based on Child’s most recent Reacher novel, Never Go Back.
Just this spring, Paramount signed Cruise’s The Last Samurai director Edward Zwick to take the helm, and when Steve recently spoke with Skydance CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg during a group interview at the Berlin premiere of Terminator Genisys, the two revealed that filming on the sequel could begin as early as this fall:
GOLDBERG: Right now Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are doing a rewrite of the original draft that was written by Richard Wenk. Again, going back to where we started this interview, it all comes down to the script. Our hope, Tom’s hope, Paramount’s hope is that we are shooting mid-October the sequel to Jack Reacher, but we haven’t read Ed and Marshall’s draft yet. All of the dominoes fall once that happens because if we like that draft and Tom likes that draft, we’re gonna be shooting in October.
But while the follow-up is based on Never Go Back, Goldberg and Ellison stressed that there will be significant deviations from the source material just as in the first Jack Reacher:
ELLISON: This movie, which has been publicly said is obviously based on the most recent book, and so there are obviously a lot of similarities which goes forward to that. Some stuff will be expanded on top of that, but it is not stuff we can…
GOLDBERG: Fair to say, the first Jack Reacher was based on One Shot and we used aspects of that book and changed aspects of that book. It’s fair to say this movie is based on Never Go Back. It’ll use aspects from that book. It will change aspects from that book.
The central story of Never Go Back finds Reacher returning to his old military base in Virginia in order to take an old flame out to dinner. When he finds out that the woman—now a commanding officer—has been arrested, things heat up and Reacher must get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
I’m a little bummed that McQuarrie isn’t returning to write and direct, but Cruise’s drive is unrivaled and he’ll no doubt work to make sure Jack Reacher 2 lives up to fan expectations. With any luck, the sequel could be in theaters sometime in late 2016.
For more on what’s coming up from Skydance, click on the links below. Terminator Genisys opens July 1st.
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- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5 Producers Talk High Test Scores, Release Shift, and More
- Tom Cruise Fired the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Insurance Company So He Could Do the Burj Khalifa Stunt
- STAR TREK TV Show: Skydance Executives Explain the Legal Tangles Preventing a New Series
- TOP GUN 2 Will Explore Drone Warfare and the End of the Fighter Pilot Era
- TERMINATOR: TV Show Still in Development; Skydance Heads Hint at 13-Episode Cable Series