Though it originally appeared that less-than-spectacular box office grosses for Jack Reacher had killed any chance of a franchise, Skydance eventually decided to push forward to adapt Lee Child’s Never Go Back as a sequel to the 2012 action-thriller. And recently, during a group conference held in honor of Terminator Genisys‘ upcoming release, Skydance CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg revealed that they’re still hopeful about the prospect of Jack Reacher 2, with a loose plan to shoot the follow-up this fall.
Predictably, what it comes down to is the script. Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai) has been secured for the director’s chair, and Cruise is interested in coming back, but Richard Wenk’s first draft of the screenplay didn’t quite meet approval, so it’s in the process of being reworked.
Right now Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are doing a rewrite of the original draft that was written by Richard Wenk. Again, going back to where we started this interview, it all comes down to the script. Our hope, Tom’s hope, Paramount’s hope is that we are shooting mid-October the sequel to Jack Reacher, but we haven’t read Ed and Marshall’s draft yet. All of the dominoes fall once that happens because if we like that draft and Tom likes that draft, we’re gonna be shooting in October.
Ellison and Goldberg also noted that, in the same way Jack Reacher was based on Child’s novel One Shot but still took some liberties with it, die-hard fans shouldn’t expect an exact translation of the novel. Goldberg explained:
“Fair to say, the first Jack Reacher was based on One Shot and we used aspects of that book and changed aspects of that book. It’s fair to say this movie is based on Never Go Back. It’ll use aspects from that book. It will change aspects from that book.”
The book begins with Reacher heading to an important meeting with Major Susan Turner at a military base located in Virginia. Things go awry very quickly when Turner is arrested and Reacher is accused of a crime he doesn’t remember. Faced with a different commanding officer and a child he doesn’t know, Reacher sets out on a cross-country odyssey to find Turner and clear his name, all the while staying one step ahead of his enemies. With the FBI, D.C. Metro Police and unknown adversaries dogging his every step, Reacher discovers just how far he’s willing to go to protect himself and his way of life.
Cruise is notoriously picky about his scripts, so fans should rest assured that he’ll do everything he can to make sure Jack Reacher 2 is up to scratch before cameras roll.