Hollywood directors who want to stay on the A list have to deliver a hit now and then. Finding a studio movie that fits is tricky these days, as more and more filmmakers with taste search for overseas funding. Take Ed Zwick. A director who can handle intimate television (“Relativity,” “Once and Again”) and epic spectacle (“Courage Under Fire,” “The Last Samurai,” “Blood Diamond,” “Glory”), he last directed brainy chess movie “Pawn Sacrifice,” which nabbed upbeat reviews and was picked up out of Toronto 2014 by Bleecker Street, but grossed a meager $2.9 million worldwide.
So this time Zwick has parlayed his strong relationship with Tom Cruise (“The Last Samurai”) to direct for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media the “Jack Reacher” sequel, which has started filming in New Orleans. The film is set for release on October 21, 2016. And it’s no surprise that Zwick and his producing and writing partner Marshall Herskovitz are returning to TV, pacting with Lionsgate.
Like 2012’s “Jack Reacher” the sequel is based on author Lee Child’s bestselling Jack Reacher series, specifically his book “Never Go Back.” The film is written by action screenwriter Richard Wenk (“The Expendables 2,” “The Equalizer”) and writing partners Zwick & Herskovitz (“Love and Other Drugs,” “The Last Samurai”).
Like the global movie star he is, Cruise knows how to keep up the quality on his productions. He is producing “Never Go Back” alongside his “Mission: Impossible– Rogue Nation” team of “Jack Reacher” producer Don Granger and Skydance Media’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg and Christopher McQuarrie. The executive producers are Paula Wagner and Herb Gains.
“Never Go Back” also stars Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, and Holt McCallany.