Tom Cruise and Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie are currently putting the finishing touches on their new collaboration, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, for a July 2015 theatrical bow. The pair have also recently worked together on genre films like sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow (which McQuarrie co-wrote) and action/thriller Jack Reacher (which McQuarrie wrote and directed) – the latter of which has a sequel actively in development.
Jack Reacher novel author Lee Child previously indicated the Reacher movie sequel is neither being written nor will it be directed by McQuarrie, though, since Rogue Nation has been taking up all his time for the past year now. Today brings word that Paramount and Skydance are in negotiations with Ed Zwick – who’s also collaborated with Cruise in the past – to have him call the shots on Jack Reacher 2 (official title TBA).
Deadline is reporting that should the talks work out, Zwick will direct the Jack Reacher sequel from a revised script penned by himself and his writing partner, Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Love & Other Drugs) – based on the earlier screenplay draft assembled by Richard Wenk (The Equalizer). Zwick, as mentioned earlier, has collaborated with Cruise before, on the historical action/drama Last Samurai.
Cruise, nowadays, frequently works alongside the same director more than once; case in point, after he’s all done promoting Rogue Nation with McQuarrie, the actor is going to reunite with his Edge of Tomorrow helmsman Doug Liman for the 1980s-set drug crime/thriller Mena (which has an early 2017 release date). Presumably, once production has wrapped on Mena, Cruise will move right into filming the next Jack Reacher adventure – re-teaming him with Zwick for a project that should reach theaters no later than 2017.
The Jack Reacher sequel will reportedly be based on Child’s 2013 novel “Never Go Back”, which picks up with gruff ex-military police officer Reacher on his way to northeastern Virginia – a place where he plans to meet up with MP Major Susan Turner, a woman he’s been romancing over the phone but has yet to meet in person. Once there, however, Reacher finds himself fighting to clear his name after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit – while also wrestling with the discovery that he may be the father to a teenage girl as strong-willed as him.
Zwick’s a fairly reliable director known for making solid films spanning various genres, so the pulpy mystery/thriller scenario described above is something he should be able to handle pretty well. Indeed, everyone involved with the Jack Reacher sequel thus far seems a strong match for the material (Wenk, for example, has carved out a niche for himself, writing good B-movie thriller fare). Cruise has likewise been churning out strong action/thrillers pretty much non-stop for several years (Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and so forth) and his win streak looks to continue with Rogue Nation later this year.
Jack Reacher wasn’t a massive box office success despite Cruise’s (and his collaborators’) best efforts, but it still managed to gross $218 million on a $60 million budget. That’s enough to have assured its studio backers that a sequel is a worthwhile investment – and so far, there’s enough going in Reacher 2‘s favor to suggest that many fans of the first Reacher installment shouldn’t be disappointed with how the followup turns out, either.
We’ll let you know when Jack Reacher 2 (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back?) gets an official release date.