Tom Cruise and Chris McQuarrie Made Plans for R-Rated Jack Reacher Sequel

Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie have developed a pretty prolific partnership over the years, working on an array of different action films together. One of the most controversial on that list might have been Jack Reacher, which saw Tom Cruise portraying the iconic Lee Child character. While McQuarrie's 2012 Jack Reacher film did spawn a sequel - 2016's Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, directed by Edward Zwick - that installment arguably sucked the momentum out of the franchise. But according to a new interview with Empire, McQuarrie and Cruise initially had a wildly different idea for the franchise's future, which would have potentially included R-rated installments.

"Tom and I were talking about, had the series continued, to take Reacher to a place where, in the post-Deadpool, post-Joker world, 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,” McQuarrie explained. “It’s a very un-Tom character, 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 Jack Reacher franchise has essentially moved on from Cruise and McQuarrie's Intentions, with a live-action TV series - which McQuarrie is an executive producer on - getting a series order by Amazon earlier this year. But according to McQuarrie, the pair's experience on those films will influence some of the projects they have coming up.

"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.”

Of course, there's the question of whether or not that R-rated interpretation would have honored the original character more, as Child has previously openly expressed how he thought Cruise wasn't the right fit for the role.

"I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He's a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun," Child explained in 2018. "But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it's a big component of who he is. The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you're all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn't have that physicality."


"What I've decided to do is - there won't be any more movies with Tom Cruise." Child continued. "Instead we're going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long form streaming television, with a completely new actor. And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out - participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series. We're rebooting and starting over and we're going to try and find the perfect guy."

Would you have wanted to see an R-rated Jack Reacher movie from Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!