EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Skydance are in negotiations with The Last Samurai team of Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz to rewrite Richard Wenk’s script for Jack Reacher 2, the follow-up to the 2012 Tom Cruise-starrer that made $218.3M worldwide and $80M-plus domestic. Christopher McQuarrie wrote and directed the original, based on the Lee Child novel series. The plan is to have Zwick direct the sequel, and Cruise is already poised to return for a second go-round.
Wenk (The Equalizer) wrote the original draft, which Zwick and Herskovitz will take on next. In addition to working with Cruise on 2003’s Last Samurai, the pair wrote the Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway romantic drama Love And Other Drugs. Zwick last directed Pawn Sacrifice, the upcoming pic that stars Tobey Maguire as chess legend Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as his arch-rival Boris Spassky.
The original Jack Reacher cost around $57 million in production costs, grossed $218 million worldwide and did well in ancillaries. All made a sequel attractive, especially with popular source material like Child’s novels, about a former MP who roams the U.S. looking for dangerous and suspicious situations to get himself into.
Paramount and Skydance signaled they were moving ahead with a sequel as early as December 2013, a year after the first one. It will be based on the Child book Never Go Back, which was published in fall 2013. In it, Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to take a woman to dinner who is now the commanding officer. By the time he gets there, she has been arrested, and Reacher finds himself being charged with pummeling one guy and fathering a child with a woman. He can’t remember either transgression but gets to the bottom of it with cunning and sometimes brute force.
McQuarrie will stay on and executive produce the sequel with Cruise and Don Granger.