A cast is slowly being assembled for Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s One Shot adaptation, with Tom Cruise onboard to portray original author Lee Child’s popular (anti?) hero character: deadly ex-Army cop Jack Reacher.
Rosamund Pike signed on last month to play the female lead in One Shot, which will mark McQuarrie’s second round in the director’s chair after the 2000 crime thriller The Way of the Gun – and his third collaboration with Cruise, seeing that McQuarrie co-scripted two of the actor’s previous starring vehicles (Valkyrie and this winter’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol).
Variety has learned that David Oyelowo has begun negotiations to join the One Shot cast. Oyelowo, for the record, has been having an excellent year so far, between his supporting turns in two late summer hits: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. He looks to extend that winning streak next year, with roles in Red Tails and Precious director Lee Daniels’ new project, The Paperboy.
Here is an official synopsis for Child’s original One Shot novel:
Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, ex–military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter—a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right—and soon the slam-dunk case explodes.
Now Reacher is teamed with a beautiful young defense lawyer, moving closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. Reacher knows that no two opponents are created equal. This one has come to the heartland from his own kind of hell. And Reacher knows that the only way to take him down is to match his ruthlessness and cunning—and then beat him shot for shot.
Pike is (naturally) playing the “beautiful young defense lawyer” who teams up with Cruise’s Reacher in One Shot. Oyelowo, should he sign on, would portray “a veteran homicide detective investigating the mall sniping.”
The 49-year-old Cruise is working hard to keep up his image as an action star, between his latest (and possibly last) Mission: Impossible flick, One Shot, and Joseph Kosinski’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, Horizons. Most Jack Reacher fans seem to have either mixed or negative feelings about the actor’s involvement with One Shot. However, that negative reception has less to do with Cruise’s ability to play an onscreen badass – and more to do with the fact that the actor just doesn’t fit Child’s description of the Reacher character (who has blue eyes, blonde hair, stands almost six and a half feet tall, and is powerful enough to snap a man’s neck with one hand).
Child has voiced his approval of the casting – and there’s no denying that Cruise’s bankability will allow this project to move forward faster than it might have otherwise – so it’s best to wait and see some footage of Cruise as Reacher before deciding whether his playing the character really is a good or bad thing.
One Shot is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on February 8th, 2013.