Success Came Too Late, But ‘Jack Reacher’ Sequels Are Still Possible

By  · Published on July 1st, 2014

Paramount Pictures

Once Lee Child fans got over Tom Cruise not having the exact physicality of Jack Reacher, they realized Cruise nailed the most important part of the character: his spirit. By the end of writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s adaptation you wanted more adventures with the tiny brawler. The 2012 film managed to do that without any loose threads or blatant sequel flags, but instead ended on a note that says everything about the titular character.

Reacher is a rare blockbuster protagonist: he knows who he is, there’s no self-doubt, and, best of all, he has a good sense of humor.

Make no mistake, the character spawned a blockbuster hit. The film only cost $60m to make and earned over $218m worldwide, before going on to make a killing on home video. The character doesn’t face costly world-ending scenarios, so this is a series that could continue without an astronomically advancing price tag. On paper this reads as a no-brainer franchise, so why haven’t we heard much about a potential sequel?

We asked Edge of Tomorrow co-writer Christopher McQuarrie that very question.

“The right stars aligning,” McQuarrie laughed, when asked what’s it going to take to make a sequel to happen. “There was a moment when the sequel could’ve gone and everybody was ready, but the justification for the sequel wasn’t there. By the time the justification materialized, the people you needed to make it were all in a different place. Now I know they’ve moved ahead and are working on a sequel right now, but I’m working on Mission: Impossible, so I’m not a part of it. Who knows what would happen after Mission Impossible? After Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise may be ready, the script may be ready, and I may be ready and we’ll go forward and do it. There’s another world where I’m not ready and Tom is. There may be a world where I’m ready and the script is ready, but Tom isn’t. It all just comes down to planets alligning. Look, by virtue of the fact Tom Cruise loves the character and wants to play the character again, you tell me.”

So we may see another Jack Reacher installment without McQuarrie at the helm. Ideally he’d return to the director’s chair, but he’ll probably have a lot of options to choose from after finishing Mission: Impossible 5 and, like he said, who knows if Cruise’s schedule will even have time for the character in the immediate future. This may come as a surprise to some, but Cruise is a rather busy guy. Whether they both return to Lee Child’s character or not, let’s just hope Cruise and McQuarrie keep this partnership going.

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.