Tom Cruise looks to (unexpectedly) reunite with his Days of Thunder costar, Robert Duvall, on One Shot - which will mark the screen debut of author Lee Child's famous ex-military inspector-turned-loner, Jack Reacher.
In other news: Quentin Tarantino's revenge-fueled spaghetti western homage - Django Unchained - lost one of its main players (Kevin Costner) a couple weeks back and has yet to officially replace him. However, another experienced character actor has signed on to play one of the film's other important supporting parts.
Django Unchained arrives in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day 2012 - just four days after two anticipated literary adaptations (World War Z and Life of Pi) hit the scene. One Shot, by comparison, will have less competition when it makes its way into theaters a few months later.
Robert Duvall is a veteran star of many American film classics - be it To Kill A Mockingbird, The Godfather, or Apocalypse Now, among others - and the Oscar-winner has stuck largely to more high-minded fare (see: The Road, Crazy Heart, Get Low) over the last couple of years. Suffice it to say, his signing on for One Shot is definitely a plus.
Variety is reporting that Duvall has begun final negotiations to appear in the Jack Reacher novel adaptation, which is being written and directed by Oscar-winning scriber Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects). Duvall will play a "small, but central" role in the film, alongside Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, and supporting players like Oscar-nominated character actor Richard Jenkins (The Rum Diary) and indie actress Alexia Fast (Fido).
One Shot sees former Army cop Jack Reacher (Cruise) pulled back in action when he's called in to investigate a seemingly clear-cut case concerning a trained military sniper who (allegedly) killed five people. Reacher quickly determines that everything is not as it seems and teams up with a young defense lawyer (Pike) in order to uncover the almost-certainly dangerous truth.
There's a lot about One Shot that sounds promising - as far as the strong supporting cast and reputable writing/directing talent working on the project goes. However, a lot of Jack Reacher fans are currently either on the fence or against the film, simply because Cruise is such a physical mismatch for the character (as described by Child). Best to actually wait and see how he handles the part, though...
While Dennis Christopher is arguably still best known for his roles in Academy Award-winning titles like Breaking Away and Chariots of Fire - from back in the late 1970s/early 80s - he's worked primarily in television over the past decade (see: his brief stints on shows like Angel and CSI). He'll next reunite with his Deadwood costar, Gerald McRaney, on Taratino's new project, Django Unchained.
Variety says that Christopher will star in Django as Leo Moguy, the lawyer for wicked plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Samuel L. Jackson is starring as another of Mr. Candie's minions: the house slave Stephen, who faces off against ex-slave-turned-bounty-hunter Django (Jamie Foxx) when the latter comes looking to rescue his enslaved wife from Candie's clutches.
It would seem that the last two significant parts that have yet to be cast in Tarantino's Old South yarn are those of the unrepentantly cruel slave trainer, Ace Woody (Costner's onetime role) - and Broomhilda, Django's wife. Both roles should be filled soon, since shooting on Django Unchained is slated to begin by November 2011.
Django Unchained promises to be as unflinchingly brutal and pulpy a tale as any of Tarantino's previous films, which is good news for his dedicated fan base. The actor/writer/director's preference for raw violence and unfiltered language - in terms of both obscenities and the sheer amount of dialogue - will certainly prevent his work from ever having true mainstream appeal... and that's undoubtedly more than fine, as far as die-hard Tarantino supporters are concerned.
Django Unchained is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on December 25th, 2012.
One Shot will arrive in U.S. theaters on February 8th, 2013.
Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2)