In his new big screen outing, Jack Reacher races to uncover the truth about active-duty soldiers who are being killed once under his command.
Producer Don Granger originally brought Lee Child’s hit series of books to Tom Cruise’s attention, which led to Cruise starring and producing 2012 box-office smash Jack Reacher, an adaptation of Child’s ninth Reacher novel, 'One Shot'.
After the success of Jack Reacher, producers immediately started developing the next film, basing it on 'One Shot', a more recent book in the series. “The great thing about the Jack Reacher novels is that they’re not chronological,” Granger explains. “There’s not a lot of continuity that you need to be familiar with to enjoy the story. With the exception of Reacher and his toothbrush, there are very few characters that carry over from book to book.”
The director of the second instalment of the franchise is Oscar winner Edward Zwick, who had previously worked with Cruise in 2003’s The Last Samurai. “I immediately connected with this story and this character,” says Zwick. “Jack Reacher is an archetypal American hero and a modern day ronin: he’s traded a life of rules and structure to live this nomadic life, free of emotional attachments and responsibilities.”
“I was excited when Ed said yes,” says producer and star Cruise. “Ed and I have been looking for something to do together ever since The Last Samurai. I have such admiration for Ed as a writer and a filmmaker. You look at his movies; he fully immerses you in a time and a place. That is what I love about movies: feeling the texture of the characters and the environment that they’re in that Ed captures so well.”
“Ed was our first and only choice to direct this movie,” offers Granger. “If you look at his past films, Glory, The Last Samurai, or Defiance there’s no doubt that Ed can direct a brawny action film with scope, energy and excitement, but in all of his work, Ed is a humanist. You remember him for his characters.”
Certainly Tom Cruise was eager to star again as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher Never Go Back, seeing it as a character piece. “Never Go Back is unique in that it’s not primarily a stunt movie; it’s a character piece,” muses Cruise. “Even so, Reacher as a character has his own very unique brutality.”
In spite of Never Go Back’s character-driven story there are stunts aplenty, with Zwick quick to praise his star, “The most boring job on set is Tom’s stunt double. Tom loves to be involved in every aspect of this production.”
Along for the ride with Cruise is Cobie Smulders, and the Canadian actress explained what attracted her to the film: “I thought about all the things my character would’ve had to endure to become a female major in the U.S. Army, and it that really helped me feel physically stronger, more capable, and more in command.”
Another obvious draw was her co-star. “Tom knows so much about making films he is literally like a walking film encyclopaedia. He just knows what the audience is going to be looking for.”
Renowned for being one of the most collaborative actors in the business, Cruise was eager to praise the cast and crew.
“For me, filmmaking is all about collaboration,” he says. “If we’re all working towards the common goal of making the absolute best movie we can, that in itself is valuable. If the people I work with have a good experience, I’ll probably get to work with them again. Same goes for audiences. When we make a great movie that the audience connects with, we get to make another one. I hope people love this movie, because we loved making it.”
And we’re certain we’ll love the second instalment of the Jack Reacher big screen adventure!
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is at Showcase Cinemas from October 20