Jack Reacher

The Tom Cruise-starring action movie Jack Reacher initially looked like it wasn’t a big enough bang to spark a franchise. But like a Tom Cruise character punching his way back into relevance, Jack Reacher 2 became possible against all odds. As we previously reported, The Last Samurai director Ed Zwick is attached to direct the sequel, and now Cobie Smulders is reportedly in talks to play the female lead. An official offer has not been made yet, but insiders familiar with the project say that she is in talks to play Danika. (Nothing else is known about Danika except that her name is Danika.) Rosamund Pike starred opposite Cruise in the first Jack Reacher film, but if we’ve learned anything from the Mission: Impossible movies, it’s that Cruise franchises rarely use the same woman twice.

This won’t be the first time Smulders has jumped in on an action franchise, although Jack Reacher would need a lot more than an apple box to look as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Smulders plays Agent Maria Hill on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in Avengers, Age Of Ultron, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. Smulders also recently wrapped on Clea DuVall’s mysterious directorial debut, and appeared opposite Guy Pearce in the indie rom-com Results.

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Zwick will direct from a script originally by Richard Wenk that recently underwent rewrites by Zwick and his producing partner Marshall Herskovitz. Jack Reacher 2 is based on author Lee Child’s Never Go Back, an installment of the Jack Reacher book series in which Reacher learns that his commanding officer has been arrested when he travels back to the headquarters of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. Production for Jack Reacher 2 is slated to start in November. Paramount is eyeing a late 2016 release and swears it’s all going to go better than the first time around.