JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Jack Reacher- American Ronin
Since 1997, readers have been riveted by the exploits of Jack Reacher, who first
appeared in the pages of author Lee Child's "Killing Floor" and continued on in
a series now spanning twenty novels.
Producer Don Granger brought the hit series to Tom Cruise's attention, which led
to Cruise starring and producing 2012's Jack Reacher, an adaptation of the
Child's ninth Reacher novel "One Shot" that went on to gross over $200 million
in worldwide box office.
After the success of Jack Reacher, producers immediately started developing the
next film, basing it on "Never Go Back," a more recent book in the series.
"The great thing about the Jack Reacher novels is that they're not
chronological," Granger explains. "There's not a lot of continuity that you need
to be familiar with to enjoy the story. With the exception of Reacher and his
toothbrush, there are very few characters that carry over from book to book."
Child describes the lasting appeal of his character: "Reacher is a modern
iteration of the mysterious stranger. The American paradigm is the Western,
where a mysterious rider comes in off the range, sorts out the problem, and
rides off into the sunset, but this character is universal. Medieval Europe had
the knight-errant, and feudal Japan had the ronin - banished knights forced to
wander the land, doing good deeds."
Appropriately, director and co-writer Edward Zwick previously worked with Tom
Cruise in 2003's The Last Samurai. "I immediately connected with this story and
this character," says Zwick. "Jack Reacher is an archetypal American hero and a
modern day ronin: he's traded a life of rules and structure to live this nomadic
life, free of emotional attachments and responsibilities."
"There's a wish fulfillment in a character like Reacher," says co-writer
Marshall Herskovitz. "We all want to be somebody who's going to stand up to the
bad guys, and Reacher is this one man retaliatory force for justice. He's on his
own and he doesn't take crap from anybody."
Despite their wide variety of film and television work, frequent collaborators
Zwick and Herskovitz had yet to tackle the crime thriller. "It's not the kind of
thing you'd expect us to write," Zwick admits. "But I'd always wanted to do a
crime thriller because I'm fascinated by the detective genre, from the classics
by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to the more contemporary sensibility
that Lee brings. I've done things with a lot of action and I've done things that
are more character based, so when Tom approached me and had me read the book, I
saw an opportunity to put it all together. This genre can really be a lot of
"I was excited when Ed said yes," says producer and star Tom Cruise. "Ed and I
have been looking for something to do together ever since The Last Samurai. I
have such admiration for Ed as a writer and a filmmaker. You look at his movies;
he fully immerses you in a time and a place. That is what I love about movies:
feeling the texture of the characters and the environment that they're in that
Ed captures so well."
"Ed was our first and only choice to direct this movie," offers Granger. "If you
look at his past films, Glory, The Last Samurai, or Defiance there's no doubt
that Ed can direct a brawny action film with scope, energy and excitement, but
in all of his work, Ed is a humanist. You remember him for his characters."
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