Back during the holiday season of 2012, Paramount released the Tom Cruise starring Jack Reacher, based off the Lee Child's book One Shot, an entry in the ongoing series by the author.
The film got favorable reviews from both critics and audiences alike (62% on Rotten Tomatoes, 67% liked it), while it did solid business at the box office as well (about $220 million worldwide on a $60 million budget). Even though these were all considered good numbers, the studio wasn't sure about proceeding further as they expected bigger box office and better reviews.
Low and behold, the power of life after movie theaters.
Through solid business on the home video market as well as popular viewing on digital platforms like Netflix and Amazon, more and more people got to see what a strong little film Jack Reacher was. Enough so, that Paramount became more comfotable with proceeding with a sequel and we now have a release date set for next year on October 21st, 2016 (the success of Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation hasn't hurt either).
While the first film's director Christopher McQuarrie won't be back to helm this installment (he was too busy finishing up on Mission: Impossible), another director Cruise has worked with in the past, Edward Zwick, will be behind the camera. He directed the actor in 2003's The Last Samurai (great, underrated movie).
The plot this time is based on Child's 2013 Reacher novel, Never Go Back. It is as follows:
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.
Now it's important to note that while the original film followed the source material of One Shot pretty closely, it did cut out a few notable characters and plots points. Bascially, if you've read Never Go Back, don't expect an direct page-to-screen adaptation.
Also, with Cruise returning to the title role, he'll have a new female lead to partner with, played by Colbie Smulders. Not much is known about her character other than her name being Danika (who isn't in the book by the way) so she could be playing a new character or a different variation of the female lead from the novel itself. Cruise seems to have a history of getting up and coming actresses into his movies, only to springboard them to that next level of success (Paula Patton in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Rosamund Pike in Jack Reacher, Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation). We'll see if he can do the same for Smulders.
Lastly, while McQuarrie will be on the project as a producer, expect him to take at least one swipe at the film's script. It was originally written by Richard Wenk and re-written by Zwick himself and his longtime collaborator Marshall Herskovitz. However, when you have a writer as talented as McQuarrie on a film, you don't ignore that resource.
Anyway, I've written enough about this for the day. We'll keep you posted on more of this project as it becomes available.