Tom Cruise is mulling an opportunity to get involved in a new action-driven literature-turned-film series that revolves around the exploits of a man with the initials J.R. – and no, the role in question would not be that of Jack Ryan. Rather, Cruise could play ex-army cop Jack Reacher in an adaptation of Lee Child’s novel One Shot.

Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie (who co-wrote the Cruise-starring Valkyrie back in 2008) penned the One Shot screenplay and is prepped to helm the project as well. However, while McQuarrie has written numerous scripts over the past few years alone, his only other directorial effort was the 2000 film The Way of the Gun.

Lee Child (the pen name for author Jim Grant) has so far written fifteen full-length novels that feature the Jack Reacher character to some degree. One Shot is actually the ninth entry in the Reacher book series written by Child – so although McQuarrie’s film adaptation would mark the Reacher character’s first appearance on the big screen, there’s nothing in the report from Risky Business about it being structured as an origin story (unlike the new Jack Ryan movie, for example).

Here is an official description of the setup for One Shot:

A lone gunman hides in a parking garage and shoots into a crowd in a public plaza in a small Indiana city. Five random people die in a senseless massacre. The shooter leaves a perfect trail behind him and the police quickly track him down. His name is James Barr. It’s a watertight case. After his arrest, James Barr refuses to talk. Then, to his lawyer, he utters a single phrase: “Get Jack Reacher for me.” But Reacher’s already on his way. What could connect this obvious psychopath with our wandering ex-army cop?

That’s certainly an intriguing premise for a crime drama/mystery – and when you recall that McQuarrie was also the man responsible for writing The Unusual Suspects, it sounds all the more promising. But what about the idea of Cruise as Reacher?

Cruise is working hard to maintain his image as a worthy action star, between his appearance in this winter’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and his signing on to play another man-on-the-run in Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion. All the same, the Jack Reacher character is described as being an impressively muscular man (around 6’5” tall) with icy-blue eyes, multiple scars from his time working as a military operative, and strength enough to snap a man’s neck with one hand. So whether or not you’re still (or ever were) a fan of Cruise as an action hero, there’s no denying that he just isn’t at all a physical match for Reacher.

Even though there’s no guarantee that Cruise will sign on for One Shot just yet, the aging A-lister and McQuarrie have previously come very close to re-collaborating on similar crime/thriller projects like last winter’s The Tourist or the upcoming adaptation of The Monster of Florence. Whether or not the Jack Reacher adaptation will become another Cruise/McQuarrie near-reunion is up in the air for now.

We’ll keep you posted on the status of One Shot as more information is released.

Source: THR