The latest Mission: Impossible flick is incredible. And it’s a movie that may not have been as good without Christopher McQuarrie at helm, who you would have to think got the gig because of his collaboration with star/producer Tom Cruise on Jack Reacher (which McQuarrie directed/scripted). Because of that second collaboration though, McQuarrie was unavailable to come back to direct Jack Reacher 2.
Luckily though, this opened the door for Cruise to once again work with somebody he’s worked with before (this may be a bit of a habit for Cruise), as the sequel for Jack Reacher actually sees him once again teaming up with Edward Zwick, the director of Cruise’s 2003 four-time Oscar nominated The Last Samurai.
While at a press junket to promote his latest flick Pawn Sacrifice, Zwick spoke to JoBlo about what it was like working with Cruise again after so many years. He also explained what it is that drew him to Jack Reacher 2.
“We had a great experience together. He is one of those actors who is unbelievably hard working and willing. And this happens to be another genre that I’ve never worked in before and I thought, okay, let’s try that. I want to keep challenging myself in different ways but it’s really good to be in the context of a relationship that you know and that you’ve had a good time with.”
Now while it is true that Zwick has never done an out and out action flick before, he has sure as hell shown off his action direction chops in the aforementioned Last Samurai (that ninja raid on the samurai village scene is still incredible) as well as in other high profile movies like Blood Diamond and The Siege.
His more dramatic action directing style is a lot different to McQuarrie’s slimmed-down no-nonsense approach though, which something he is fully aware of as he explained about whether this sequel will be more darker or retain the original’s lightness.
“I hope this will have both. I really think that… It’s going to be a very different movie than the last one. Because there is a nice sort of anthology possibility to a continuing character like that, it’s a whole different world; different set of circumstances that he finds himself in. So it will be a different movie and I hope a stand alone movie.”
That anthology approach, making each installment of a franchise feel completely different, is certainly what has led to the Mission: Impossible series’ continued success, both critically and commercially. Applying that form of thinking to a Jack Reacher series – which is based on a series of crime novels from Lee Child where the stories are usually not exactly these big crazy, unique narratives – could work out very well.
The still officially untitled Jack Reacher 2 is said to be based on Child’s “Never Go Back”, his 18th Jack Reacher novel and the final installment in a four-part story arc. Here’s the novel’s synopsis from Amazon:
After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Why? He wants to meet the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner. He liked her voice on the phone. But the officer sitting behind Reacher’s old desk isn’t a woman. Why is Susan Turner not there?
What Reacher doesn’t expect is what comes next. He himself is in big trouble, accused of a sixteen-year-old homicide. And he certainly doesn’t expect to hear these words: ‘You’re back in the army, Major. And your ass is mine.’
Will he be sorry he went back? Or – will someone else?
Jack Reacher 2 is currently in pre-production with filming set to commence in November 2015. It’s been reported that Cobie Smulders (The Avengers, How I Met Your Mother) will co-star with Cruise. The movie has no release date scheduled yet.
Last Updated: August 24, 2015