Christopher McQuarrie And Tom Cruise Wanted R-Rated ‘Jack Reacher’ Sequel, Now Planning Something Even Edgier

Tom Cruise turned 58-years-young this week, and he’s not slowing down at all. In fact, with his buddy Christopher McQuarrie by his side, Cruise is more active than ever and doing bigger stunts than ever. But the Mission: Impossible movies aren’t the only franchise Cruise and McQuarrie have worked on together. There was also Jack Reacher, which had two mostly-successful action films but were PG-13 rated, which is a huge departure from the violent Lee Child novels. McQuarrie has some thoughts about that, and they are leading him to a new idea that will push Cruise in a direction he has never gone before.

Speaking with Empire, McQuarrie talked about Jack Reacher and how he still has hopes for the franchise, especially with R-rated action movies all the rage…

“Tom and I were talking about, had the series continued, to take [‘Jack Reacher’] to a place where, in the post-‘Deadpool’, post-‘Joker’ world, [‘Jack Reacher’] could have been an R-rated movie and an R-rated franchise and really fed into the brutality of those books. We were fully ready to lean into that.”

However, a third movie doesn’t seem to be happening. While the 2012 movie earned a sizable $218M on a $60M budget, the sequel titled Never Go Back only hit $162M on a budget nearing $100M.  That said, McQuarrie has another idea that will take Cruise to the edge in ways they had always hoped to with Jack Reacher

“It’s a very un-Tom character,” McQuarrie said. “And we have plans for an even more un-Tom character that we’ve been talking about, which I’m hopeful about in the future. The franchise has moved on, and we haven’t. So we’ve now got stuff in the hopper. The [Jack Reacher] stuff we’re talking about now is tinker toys [compared to it], I’m actually very, very excited.”

Whatever this idea is, it won’t happen soon. McQuarrie and Cruise are working on a pair of Mission: Impossible films back-to-back, with the last one opening in November 2022.  There’s also Cruise’s outer space movie with Elon Musk, and who knows where that might fit in.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.