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Jack Reacher’s Back; Tom Cruise Developing New Bestseller ‘Never Go Back’

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 3:31pm PST
Mike Fleming

nevergoEXCLUSIVE: 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.

Related: Tom Cruise On ‘Jack Reacher’

jackrThe 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 … Read More »

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Tom Cruise Reaches $200 Million Worldwide Gross Mark For 19th Time

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 9:54am PST
Mike Fleming

Tom Cruise as Jack ReacherHere is an interesting stat. Reacher, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child book series with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, has crossed $200 million worldwide. That makes 19 films that Cruise has starred in that have done that well globally. Have any other actors put up those kind of numbers? I can’t think of any. There have been reports that Reacher might be a one off. The movie cost $60 million and I am hearing that they are already figuring out the sequel at Paramount and Skydance. Studios are all about franchise building, and some take off financially on the second go-around. There are so many good Reacher books written by Child that there’s a wealth of ground to cover here.

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Paramount Retitles Its Tom Cruise Film ‘Jack Reacher’

By | Tuesday May 29, 2012 @ 12:17pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Tom Cruise Jack ReacherInstead of calling it One Shot, after one of the Lee Child novels about ex-military policeman-turned-benevolent drifter Jack Reacher, Paramount Pictures has retitled its Christopher McQuarrie-directed Tom Cruise-starrer Jack Reacher. That should resonate with fans of the bestselling series about the hulking loner who hitchhikes from town to town, always finding himself smack in a situation where a helpless person needs someone who can put the clues together, and lay an ass whupping on anybody who gets in his way. Those book fans will need to adjust to Cruise as the hero, who in the novels goes about 6’5″ and 250 pounds, towers over opponents and beats the bad guys to a pulp. Cruise isn’t of that stature, but when I interviewed him recently for Playboy Magazine and asked what he’d be bringing to the table to compensate, he said “Everything but the height.” He indicated that there are all the obligatory brawls and that the author himself endorsed the choice of Cruise. The title change indicates that Cruise and the studio look at this as more than a “one shot” deal, and that Cruise might well have two franchises at the studio after Cruise stood tall in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which grossed $693 million worldwide. Jack Reacher hits theaters December 21.

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Spartacus’ Jai Courtney Takes On Tom Cruise In ‘One Shot’

By | Thursday September 29, 2011 @ 10:07am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jai Courtney, who starred in the first season of the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has landed a lead in One Shot, Paramount’s Christopher McQuarrie-directed drama based on the Lee Child-penned  Jack Reacher novel series. In One Shot, Reacher investigates what seems like an open and shut case of a sniper who guns down five random victims. Reacher, teamed with a detective (Rosamund Pike) and uncovers a conspiracy. Courtney plays a highly trained sniper who is motivated to stop Reacher. Courtney starred in the first Spartacus season along with the late Andy Whitfield, a fellow Australian who took Courtney under his wing and got him signed by his manager, Sam Maydew, at The Collective. He’s repped by UTA and Australia-based Mark Morrissey.

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Rosamund Pike Gets Female Lead In Tom Cruise’s ‘One Shot’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Rosamund Pike is negotiating for the female lead opposite Tom Cruise in One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the bestselling Lee Child novel series for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. Pike was among a small group of actresses vying for the role. The British actress played Andromeda in Clash of the Titans 2, and she recently wrapped the David Frankel-directed The Big Year opposite Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin, and the Rowan Atkinson comedy Johnny English Reborn.

Cruise is playing Jack Reacher, the retired military policeman who wanders the country with only his passport, bankbook, toothbrush and the clothes on his back. He finds his way into scrapes, taking the side of the underdog. In One Shot, Reacher investigates a case in which a lone sniper murders five victims before being captured. Reacher discovers it’s more than a simple open-and-shut case.

Pike will play Helen Rodin, a local defense attorney defending the man arrested for the shootings. She works with Reacher to bring the true culprits to justice. Don Granger and Cruise will produce through Mutual Film Company and C/W Productions. Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing as is Gary Levinsohn and Paula Wagner, and Ken Kamins is exec producer. UTA reps Pike with Shelly Browning and UK-based Dallas Smith.

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Paramount Moves Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ To December 21 And Sets ‘One Shot’ For Early 2013

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will move Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol from its Dec. 16, 2011 release date to Wednesday, Dec. 21, putting the picture smack into the holiday corridor. That moves the film back from opening against Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. It will now open against the David Fincher-directed Sony drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and be released two days before Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, Summit’s The Darkest Hour, Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, and FilmDistrict’s release of the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey.

At the same time, Paramount will soon formalize a Feb. 8, 2013 release date for One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child mystery novel series that the studio hopes will launch another Cruise franchise. Cruise committed earlier this month to play Jack Reacher, a retired military policeman who wanders the country with his toothbrush, the clothes on his back and his bankbook and inadvertently gets involved in conspiracies that find him taking the side of the powerless and exploited. He often settles matters with explosive violence. For Paramount, the strategy is to replicate the winter release pattern it followed successfully on Shutter Island, the Dennis Lehane novel that was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Read More »

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Tom Cruise Locked To Play Jack Reacher In ‘One Shot’ For Paramount And Skydance

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have closed a deal with Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher in One Shot, the thriller based on the Lee Child bestselling book series about the former military policeman-turned-drifter. An early fall start date has been set for the film, which will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Cruise will then move right into the lead role of the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion at Universal early next year.

I first wrote about the Cruise talks last month, and it created a lot of discussion among fans of the series because  the Reacher character is 6’5” and about 250 pounds, and Cruise is not. At the time, the author was among those most excited about the casting, saying that “Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way.” This is certainly a vote of confidence from Paramount and Skydance principal David Ellison in the work Cruise did reprising his Ethan Hunt role in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, which the studio will release December 16.

In One Shot, Reacher investigates a case in which a lone sniper murders five victims before being captured. Reacher discovers it’s more than a simple open-and-shut case. Cruise and McQuarrie teamed on Valkyrie, McQuarrie did some script work on Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and he also did early script work on The Tourist Read More »

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Tom Cruise In Talks To Play Jack Reacher In Chris McQuarrie-Directed ‘One Shot’ For Paramount And Skydance

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are negotiating with Tom Cruise to star this fall in One Shot, a thriller based on the Lee Child book series about former military policeman-turned-drifter Jack Reacher. Christopher McQuarrie will direct his script. The talks going on right now is for Cruise to make the movie before he stars in the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion at Universal, which starts in January.

Making a Cruise deal is always tricky, and if the One Shot deal takes awhile to come together, it would happen after Oblivion shoots next year. Paramount will co-finance the film with Skydance Productions, whose principal David Ellison also co-financed Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

Fans of the Reacher book will have to absorb this development, because Cruise is very different physically from the bruising tough guy who has created mayhem over 15 bestselling novels that have sold 40 million copies. In the books, Reacher is 6’5,” about 250 pounds, and when you are on the business end of his clenched fists, you are most likely going to be spitting out teeth and getting fitted for a cast or two. Cruise has always been interested in the Reacher series. In fact, when he and Paula Wagner were partners at C/W, they optioned the book five years ago. Paramount has been developing ever since, but this is the closest that the Reacher franchise has to becoming a reality after years in development. So what if he’s not as tall and beefy as Reacher? I’m told that the author himself is excited about Cruise playing the role, that Cruise personifies the qualities Reacher displays in the books. As for Reacher’s hulking physical size, Child wasn’t locked into an oversized actor (one reason the film took so long to get off the ground), and it was more about establishing an intimidating presence.

“Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way,” Child said when he threw his support behind the move. Read More »

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