When first annouced, Paramount's big screen adaptation of Lee Child's flawed action hero, Jack Reacher
, was almost unanimously dismissed solely because Tom Cruise was cast in the title role. Bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the hulking army cop of the novels, it is understandable why die-hard fans might have been miffed.
But when Chris MacQuarrie's film finally appeared last December it proved to be a tough, ballsy action thriller and one of the Cruiser's better performance in recent years. Unfortunately the release also coincided with another spat of real-world mass shootings in the States, so the film - which centres on a rogue sniper taking potshots at innocent civilians - wasn't given the marketing push it otherwise would have.
Despite all that, however, Jack Reacher did manage to take $200 million at the global box office, which was apparently enough for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions to take another crack at building a franchise for its star, back in the public's good graces thanks to the impressive Mission: Impossible series. Deadline is reporting that rights have been acquired for Never Go Back, the 18th book in the series, which was published this past September, and they are currently looking for screenwriters and a director for the project. In the novel, Reacher returns to his former military base in Virginia, where he is immediately arrested and charged with a crime he can't remember committing 16 years ago.
While Cruise is definitely on board to return as Reacher, MacQuarrie may also return to direct, although he is unlikely to adapt this installment, as he did with the first film, as his plate is full getting Mission: Impossible 5 up and running. More info as it comes.
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