EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are moving ahead with a sequel to Jack Reacher, the 2012 film that starred Tom Cruise and is based on Lee Child’s bestselling novel series. A rumor went around that the studio might be trying to squeeze in a Reacher film before Mission: Impossible 5. Paramount has denied that, but I’ve learned it’s trying to fast track another installment. This one will be based on Never Go Back, which was published earlier this fall. In it, Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to take a woman to dinner who is now the commanding officer. By the time he gets there, she has been arrested, and Reacher finds himself being charged with pummeling one guy and fathering a child with a woman. He can’t remember either transgression but gets to the bottom of it with cunning and sometimes brute force.
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The studio is out to writers; Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie adapted the first one, but is too busy prepping MI5 for a summer production start. Cruise and the studio hope McQuarrie will direct the sequel. Why are they making a sequel? The original cost around $57 million in production costs, grossed $218 million worldwide and has done well in ancillaries. Before studios got tentpole crazy, trying to launch franchises with massive-budget originals, that was exactly the kind of numbers that made studios go back for more and try to grow a franchise, particularly when there is popular source material like the Child novels.
Cruise’s new film, Edge Of Tomorrow, will get its first trailer this week, one that will play this Friday on all prints of the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. While Cruise most certainly won’t do the Reacher film before MI5, it is possible he might squeeze in one of the other films he has percolating, including Go Like Hell. He’s going to play Mustang designer Carroll Shelby in a film about the battle between Ford and Ferrari for sports car supremacy at Le Mans in the 1960s in what shapes up as The Right Stuff for sports cars. Oblivion helmer Joseph Kosinski is prepping to reteam with Cruise in that film.