When Jack Reacher snuck into cinemas back in 2012, there was one audience preconception that Christopher McQuarrie’s big screen adaptation simply couldn’t shake: at 5ft 7in, how could Tom Cruise possibly embody a former military major that stands — in the novels, at least — at 6ft 5in tall? Well, low and behold the actor played the part with conviction and helped turn the once humble project into a bona fide action hit.
Fast forward two years and Paramount Pictures has issued the green light for a direct sequel, with Cruise set to return in the titular role. However, with Christopher McQuarrie departing to direct the next chapter in the Mission: Impossible franchise, ardent fans are wondering exactly who will step in to to direct the imminent sequel.
And though he doesn’t explicitly answer that question in particular, author Lee Child spoke to Empire recently and revealed some early details regarding the follow-up, which is to be based on the novel Never Go Back.
“McQuarrie is going to be in post-production on Mission: Impossible 5. He just physically can’t do it. It’s going to be a new backroom crew, which I think is good. I thought the McQuarrie movie was fantastic, but let’s see someone else’s take on it.”
Alas, news that McQuarrie wouldn’t return was all but confirmed, but Child’s comment regarding a complete crew turnover will surely resonant with the fanbase. Yes, Jack Reacher wasn’t necessarily criticized for deviating too far from the source material — bar the aforementioned heigh discrepancy, mind you — so news that the studio is planning to introduce an fresh creative perspective is very interesting indeed.
In terms of the actual story, Never Go Back will center around our protagonist who finds himself charged with murder erroneously. Speaking about the premise, Child stated that the upcoming sequel will strike a chord with more demographics than its predecessor.
”It’s almost a three-hander in terms of audience appeal – you’ve got Reacher, you’ve got the woman sidekick (Major Susan Turner), and then you’ve got this strong teenage girl character which they were very interested in.’’
Jack Reacher 2 — which will in all likelihood be labelled as Never Go Back — is expected to release at some point in 2016.