The last few years have marked something of a comeback for writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. He was the toast of the town after penning one of the more acclaimed screenplays of the 1990s with “The Usual Suspects,” winning an Academy Award for his trouble. But he found it tricky to follow that success; his directorial debut, 2000’s “The Way of the Gun,” wasn’t nearly as well received, and finding it difficult to get his work greenlit, was on the verge of quitting the business. Still, he got there in the end, reuniting with ‘Suspects’ director Bryan Singer for 2008’s “Valkyrie,” and that turned everything around.
It was that film that made McQuarrie Tom Cruise‘s pick of a go-to writer. McQuarrie did uncredited work on “Knight & Day” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” was brought on for the star’s upcoming sci-fi picture “All You Need Is Kill,” and returned to directing with this Christmas’ Cruise vehicle “Jack Reacher,” an adaptation of the popular books by Lee Child. And while the film is still a month away from hitting theaters, it seems that Paramount (and Cruise) are delighted with it as they’ve already hired McQuarrie to write and direct Tom Clancy picture “Without Remorse.” And now Deadline say that he’s been given the studio’s crown jewel, with the filmmaker apparently the first choice of both Paramount and Cruise to helm the fifth ‘Mission: Impossible‘ movie.
It’s early days, and there are no writers on board the project yet (it seems that McQuarrie won’t immediately be on script duties himself), but it appears that McQuarrie has the thumbs up both from his “Jack Reacher” star and producer J.J. Abrams. It’s certainly not as exciting a choice as Brad Bird was for ‘Ghost Protocol,’ but maybe our view of that will change once we see “Jack Reacher.” It’s also unclear what the timeline is here — “Without Remorse” theoretically seems to be on the cards, but the success of ‘Ghost Protocol’ means that Paramount may be keen to push ahead with this one first. We’re sure details will firm up once the deal is made and writers have been picked out, but we imagine the film will materialize at the tail end of 2014 or sometime in 2015. Let’s remember to write a decent bad guy this time, OK?