Jack Reacher Tom Cruise

There will almost certainly be a Jack Reacher sequel — the questions are “when,” and “by whom”? Notice that we don’t have to ask which of the many Lee Child novels the film will be based on, because Tom Cruise, Skydance Productions, and Paramount are now developing the most recent book, Never Go Back, as the sequel. (It’ll probably be titled Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, in the parlance of our times.)

Those who read all of Child’s novels will know that Never Go Back isn’t quite a standalone story; it is motivated by a phone call Jack Reacher had with the current commanding officer of his old military unit, and he’s spent a couple books trying to get to a base in Virginia to follow up on the call.

There’s something a lot more important in this book, however: a smart, super-precocious teen girl. She could easily end up taking a bigger role in the film than she does in the book, and in so doing make the movie attractive to audiences that didn’t even glance in Jack Reacher‘s direction. Read More »

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Briefly: Star Wars who? Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and Paramount aren’t afraid of a galaxy far, far away. They have chosen December 25, 2015 to open the still untitled Mission: Impossible 5. That’s one week after J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII, and the same day as Live By Night, Ben Affleck’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Argo.

(Maybe the M:I crew isn’t afraid because Abrams is still one of them; he’s a producer, as he has been since stepping into the franchise with the third film.)

Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) co-wrote the film which, at this point, only has Cruise attached. If the story from the last film holds, he might be joined by Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. [The Wrap]

Star Blazers

Christopher McQuarrie is gearing up for Mission: Impossible 5 as we speak, but he’s already thinking ahead to his next directorial gig beyond that. The filmmaker has been set to helm Skydance Productions’ Star Blazers, two and a half years after he was hired to write it.

The live-action adventure is based on the ’70s animated series of the same title, which was the American version of the Japanese anime Space Battleship Yamato. Hit the jump for the latest details on the project.

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Briefly: The Mission: Impossible series, which has been the signature action franchise for Tom Cruise for almost 20 years (!!!) has been flirting with writer/director Christopher McQuarrie for months. McQuarrie’s career has become quite intertwined with that of Cruise, beginning with their partnership on Valkyrie, which McQuarrie wrote, and continuing on to Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow, and the stalled Top Gun 2.

A tweet today from McQuarrie seems to confirm involvement with the Mission: Impossible series. We’ve heard that he would co-write (with Drew Pearce) and possibly direct the fifth film; at this point we don’t know if the brief message below is confirmation of one job, or both. The safe bet is that McQuarrie is directing; that’s how the message is being taken by the industry at large.

Updated: Paramount has sent a press release confirming that McQuarrie will direct. Read that below.  Read More »

Christopher McQuarrie

Everyone assumes Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie is going to direct Mission: Impossible 5, but that may no longer be the case. He’s apparently turning his attention back to a project he was attached to in 2010. It’s called Unforgiven and is a feature adaptation of a UK miniseries about a woman who serves a 15-year prison sentence for the murder of two cops who came to her house to evict her. When she gets out, she’s targeted for revenge.

Angeline Jolie was once attached with McQuarrie when GK Films first bought the rights. That version lapsed, but now it seems the project is once again a priority for McQuarrie and he’s not only going to write, but direct as well. Read More »

The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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Tom Cruise Mission Impossible

Briefly: We don’t know what Mission: Impossible 5 will be about, but we know who will write: Drew Pearce, who scripted Iron Man 3 with director Shane Black, has been hired to write the film. Tom Cruise returns to star, and the sequel will reportedly shoot in the fall of this year, after Cruise finishes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Will Pearce again work with a director who is also known as a screenwriter? Christopher McQuarrie, who directed Cruise in Jack Reacher, has been linked to the film. And while he hasn’t signed on, THR reports that he is “in discussions” to direct M:I 5, even as he has already been set to direct a remake of Ice Station Zebra.

Pearce also did some work on the Pacific Rim script, and is writing another film that he’ll direct as well; details on that are thin right now.

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Christopher McQuarrie‘s most recent collaboration with Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, comes out on Blu-ray tomorrow. Almost as if to publicize that fact, both director and star have announced new projects today. Cruise was confirmed for Mission: Impossible 5, which McQuarrie has been rumored to direct for some time. The director, meanwhile, was not part of the M:I 5 announcement, and was announced instead as the director for a remake of the late ’60s espionage thriller Ice Station Zebra. So what gives? Read More »

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