While Paramount held off on confirming a Jack Reacher sequel for some years, the follow-up officially received the greenlight earlier in 2015. With new director Ed Zwick at the helm, it’s full steam ahead on Reacher’s second outing and the latest addition to the franchise has offered up a few details on the forthcoming flick. During a press talk with Collider, he reveals why it took so long for that all-important thumbs up from the studio:
“The movie performed, but not as well as they hoped, but they found in ancillary markets it performed and just kept on buying it and streaming it and it sort of went through the roof. It had a bit of a long tail. So they were already in the process of – I’d already begun work on this, writing the draft, long before [Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation] came out.”
Taking over the directorial duties from Christopher McQuarrie, Zwick will reconnect on the project with his Last Samurai leading man Tom Cruise. With both director and star more than capable of dishing out the requisite action beats to placate fans of fast-paced fare, Zwick promises it will remain in keeping with the original:
“It’s going to be very grounded. The emotions are grounded. The action is grounded. Mission: Impossible 5 is an extraordinary accomplishment of a very particular kind, and I think we would be foolish to try and replicate it for a different genre, so this is going to be itself.”
And, like the 2012 original, the structure of the film remains entirely self-contained in the same way that Lee Child’s novels exist alongside one another. You can pick one up and read it, without needing to have devoured the previous books:
“The nice thing about the franchise to me is that it’s almost an anthology. He gets involved in something very different in each of those books with a different cast of character and a different set of circumstances of things that happen to him. I like to think this will satisfy those who really like the character, but they will see him and see this very much as a standalone movie as each of them hopes to be.”
A standalone movie loosely tied to the earlier film is an appealing concept for the studio, no doubt because it makes future sequels easier to produce. There’s no requirements for connective tissue or ensuring that moviegoers have seen previous films. Let’s put it this way: if Jack Reacher 2 is as big a critical and financial hit as the original, expect to see more from him in the future.