Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher, the ex-army cop turned drifter who wanders from town to town helping those in trouble and meting out his own brand of justice to the lawless.
Coming four years after Jack Reacher, in which Cruise made his debut as the title character, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is based on the 18th title in Lee Child’s best-selling series of novels featuring Reacher. To date, 100 million books have been sold around the globe.
“Reacher is a modern iteration of the mysterious stranger,” says Child. “The American paradigm is the Western, where a mysterious rider comes in off the range, sorts out the problem, and rides off into the sunset, but this character is universal. Medieval Europe had the knight-errant, and feudal Japan had the ronin – banished knights forced to wander the land, doing good deeds.”
Director Edward Zwick, who previously teamed up with Cruise for The Last Samurai, loves the concept behind the no-nonsense Jack Reacher.
“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.”
Zwick’s connection with Reacher also stems from the filmmaker’s long-time fascination with the detective genre – ranging from Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler – and his desire to make a crime thriller.
“I’ve done things with a lot of action and I’ve done things that are more character based, so when Tom approached me and had me read the book, I saw an opportunity to put it all together. This genre can really be a lot of fun.”
Cruise’s Reacher jumps into the fray when Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) – his successor in the military brass – is framed for espionage. From that point forward, it’s a matter of proving she’s clean and nailing the nasties.
“Cobie was our secret weapon,” says Zwick. “She’s got a gift for the comedic, but she’s got significant dramatic chops that she hasn’t always had the opportunity to show to the world. The character Lee wrote is a lot more than the beautiful, badass woman that’s become something of a trope in Hollywood. Turner has a lot more going on and Cobie took that very seriously. She met with a number of women in the military and our technical advisors to bring authenticity to her performance.”
Meanwhile, The Hunter (Patrick Huesinger), who is constantly pursuing Reacher and Turner after they escape from the cops, is the central villain of the piece.
“The Hunter has a really similar skill set to Reacher, but he’s a little younger, so that creates an interesting dynamic. Instead of being driven by a sense of justice, The Hunter has a sick fascination with eliminating his competition. He wants to prove himself by taking down the legendary Jack Reacher.”
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colby Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Huesinger, Holt McCallany and Robert Knepper
Screenwriters: Marshall Herskovitz and Richard Wenk
Producers: Don Granger, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Christopher McQuarrie
Executive Producers: Paula Wagner and Herbert W. Gaines
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Don’t Breathe © 2016 Screen Gems. All Rights Reserved
Image Info: Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. © 2016 Paramount Pictures All Rights Reserved
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved