EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have closed a deal with Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher in One Shot, the thriller based on the Lee Child bestselling book series about the former military policeman-turned-drifter. An early fall start date has been set for the film, which will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Cruise will then move right into the lead role of the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion at Universal early next year.
I first wrote about the Cruise talks last month, and it created a lot of discussion among fans of the series because the Reacher character is 6’5” and about 250 pounds, and Cruise is not. At the time, the author was among those most excited about the casting, saying that “Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way.” This is certainly a vote of confidence from Paramount and Skydance principal David Ellison in the work Cruise did reprising his Ethan Hunt role in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, which the studio will release December 16.
In One Shot, Reacher investigates a case in which a lone sniper murders five victims before being captured. Reacher discovers it’s more than a simple open-and-shut case. Cruise and McQuarrie teamed on Valkyrie, McQuarrie did some script work on Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and he also did early script work on The Tourist when Cruise was going to be the film’s star. While the novel’s is set in the Midwest, the film is expected to shoot in Pittsburgh.
Don Granger and Cruise will produce through Mutual Film Company and C/W Productions. Skydance’s Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing as is Gary Levinsohn and Wagner. Josh Olson wrote an earlier draft before McQuarrie came aboard. McQuarrie’s manager, Ken Kamins of Key Creatives, is exec producer.
The CAA-repped Cruise is currently working on Rock of Ages, playing the decadent 80s rock star Stacee Jaxx.