This year’s been rough on Tom Cruise both personally and professionally, between his much-publicized divorce from Katie Holmes, Rock of Ages‘ weak reception, and Top Gun director Tony Scott committing suicide. Cruise returns this winter with Jack Reacher, marking the screen debut of Lee Child’s popular character; however, it remains to be seen if the film – which has incited fan outcry over the alleged (mis)casting of Cruise – will buck the trend, or cap off a tumultuous year for the A-lister (following the successful Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol from last December).

Meanwhile, production has commenced on Cruise’s next star vehicle, an adaptation of the illustrated sci-fi novel All You Need Is Kill, which co-stars Emily Blunt (Looper) and is directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Jumper). Scroll down for more information on All You Need Is Kill, including the official synopsis and release date.

Here is the plot summary for the All You Need Is Kill adaptation, based on a script co-adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s source novel by Joby Harold (Awake), Dante Harper (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), and frequent Cruise collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie, Jack Reacher):

The story unfolds in a near future in which a hive-like alien race, called Mimics, have hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, shredding great cities to rubble and leaving millions of human casualties in their wake. No army in the world can match the speed, brutality or seeming prescience of the weaponized Mimic fighters or their telepathic commanders. But now the world’s armies have joined forces for a last stand offensive against the alien horde, with no second chances.

Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped—untrained and ill-equipped—into what amounts to little more than a suicide mission. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an Alpha down with him. But, impossibly, he awakens back at the beginning of the same hellish day, and is forced to fight and die again…and again. Direct physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop—dooming him to live out the same brutal combat over and over.

But with each pass, Cage becomes tougher, smarter, and able to engage the Mimics with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt), who has lain waste to more Mimics than anyone on Earth. As Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated battle becomes an opportunity to find the key to annihilating the alien invaders and saving the Earth.

The All You Need Is Kill cast is rounded out by such people as Bill Paxton (Aliens, Titanic), Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood), Franz Drameh (Attack the Block), Tony Way (Game of Thrones), and Dragomir Mrsic (Easy Money), among others.

Warner Bros. has scheduled All You Need Is Kill to hit theaters on March 14th in 2014, a date also currently being occupied by both Disney’s Maleficent (starring Angelina Jolie) and DreamWorks’ animated feature, Me and My Shadow. Cruise, however, will be returning to the sci-fi/action genre before that, with next year’s Oblivion, based on the graphic novel co-created by director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy).

Following All You Need Is Kill, Cruise will likely turn his attention to working on either Mission: Impossible 5 or the developing Van Helsing reboot from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. He’s also been linked to appear in a remake of The Magnificent Seven somewhere down the line (should the project get an official greenlight).

Source: Warner Bros.