It’s probably safe to say that “Jack Reacher” didn’t quite do the business that Paramount was hoping for. After Tom Cruise took “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” to nearly $700 million worldwide, we can’t blame anyone for thinknig that the actor had rebounded from bad publicity and middling efforts like “Knight & Day.” So he was put in the lead of “Jack Reacher,” a potential franchise starter that will likely wind up with nearly $200 million worldwide. Profitable for sure, but with Asian audiences essentially deciding if the series lives or dies, it’s not the outing everyone involved was hoping for. Which brings us to Christopher McQuarrie…
The director admitted that following “The Way Of The Gun,” he was in director’s jail for basically the next decade or so, until Cruise (for whom he wrote “Valkyrie“) essentially yanked him out. And Cruise has been his benefecator, not only getting McQuarrie to write the upcoming “All You Need Is Kill,” but, a month before “Jack Reacher” opened, linking to his biggest movie yet — “Mission: Impossible 5.” Now it seems McQuarrie isn’t quite sure if he wants the job.
The writer/director took to Twitter recently revealing he was “deciding to accept” the job, later clarifying, “‘Deciding to accept’ is not the same as ‘Decided to accept.’” But dude, shouldn’t you just take the job already? McQuarrie doesn’t seem to have much on his plate in terms of directorial vehicles, though Paramount hired him to adapt Tom Clancy‘s “Without Remorse.” But perhaps the scale and scope of ‘M:I 5’ — it would be a tremendous leap — is giving him pause, which we’d understand. But then again, few directors are ever given the keys to a major franchise with such ease.
But since this whole thing is based on a couple of tweets, we’ll just have to wait and see. Domestic audiences at least seem to be cooling on Cruise as fast as they took to him in ‘Mission: Impossible’ and one wonders if execs are waiting to see how “Oblivion” plays this spring before making any hard decisions. And while McQuarrie is probably the least flashy helmer the franchise would have seen to date, his solid relationship Cruise could still bring an interesting dynamic. [EW]