At 54 years of age, Tom Cruise shows no sign of slowing down. His latest action flick is further evidence of that, which sees him return as the titular Jack Reacher in, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Starring alongside Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break), Never Go Back sees Cruise kick-ass and take names to unravel a conspiracy that is framing his military handler Susan, played by Smulders.
We caught up with some of the cast and crew at the European premiere for the movie.
The man of the hour at the premiere was of course Tom Cruise, who attended to his hundreds of fans before doing the rounds with the press.
Speaking to premiere host Alex Zane beforehand, Tom talked about what it’s like being involved in the Jack Reacher universe.
“I love the books and bringing these characters to the screen is different and entertaining,” Tom said.
One thing that Tom doesn’t shy away from is getting stuck into the stunts, and Never Go Back is no exception. Despite his experience over the years, that hasn’t got any easier.
“With every film there’s always a challenge, I just keep pushing myself,” Tom told press.
“My skill has improved since being in my 20s and 30s, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
Tom’s devoted portrayal of Jack Reacher would not have been possible without Lee Childs, author of the 20 Reacher novels.
Despite the casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher being met with scepticism when the first film was announced, due to significant height and weight differences, Lee still stands by Tom as the character.
“What I care about is ability and Tom has that,” Lee said.
“He’s a great actor. It’s really that simple. The essence of Jack Reacher is to do the right thing, whatever the cost, and Tom will fulfill that role whatever the cost.”
Never Go Back is based on the 18th novel in the Jack Reacher series, a story that sees Reacher accompanied by strong female characters. This is something Lee thinks translates well to the silver screen:
“He’s not on his own in this, he’s with two powerful women that really make the movie.
“The three of them working together is great.”
With 20 novels published thus far and another releasing in November, there is plenty of material to choose from if another Reacher film was on the cards. On the likelihood of that happening, Lee said:
“I hope there are plenty more. The thing about the entertainment business is you never know what’s going to happen next.”
When adapting novels to film, more often than not, things are changed slightly to accommodate the medium. On if he would change anything if in the director’s chair for the two movies, Lee told GeekFeed:
“I would probably give myself a bigger cameo role, but apart from that, no I love what they’ve done.”
Producer Don Granger weighed in on how accessible the Reacher stories are as readers and filmmakers. He told host Alex Zane:
“The character is iconic and has such a rich history.
“But, you can pick up anyone of the novels and dive straight in. Each is its own separate story. That’s why we can pick anyone of them.”
Two characters that stand out in the Never Go Back book in particular are the strong women in Susan and Samantha, played by Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh in the film. On whether it was a conscious effort to gender balance in choosing that book in particular, Granger told press:
“I don’t think it was a conscious decision of gender balance, but I think in this book we got to learn a little bit more about Reacher. We got under his skin a little bit. The fact that the two characters that helped do that where women, was secondary.”
When asked if Granger wants to see a particular Reacher novel on screen, he told GeekFeed:
“Yes. No. Or as Reacher would put it: ‘Reacher said nothing.’”
Never Go Back marks the second time director Edward Zwick has worked with Tom Cruise. Speaking to press, Zwick spoke about working with Tom once again:
“He is every bit as energetic, determined, and fun as he was so then, so we picked up where we left off almost.”
Somebody who is working with Tom Cruise for the first time at the age of only 18 is Danika Yarosh, who plays street smart kid Samantha in the film. To say she was surprised when she received the call to star in the movie would be an understatement:
“I couldn’t believe it,” Danika told press.
“To play such a strong character and star alongside Tom and Cobie was an absolute dream come true.
“It was so much fun.”
Cobie Smulders, who plays military Major Susan Turner in the movie, too spoke about working with Tom Cruise:
“He’s the world’s fastest human being on screen. I was intimidated initially, but he was awesome and welcoming when we started working together.”
You can see highlights from the European Premiere here;
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is the Army Major who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit. She is arrested for Treason and knowing that she is innocent, Reacher must break her out of prison and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear their names and save their lives. On the run as fugitives from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever. Based upon JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, author Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling Jack Reacher series, that has seen 100 million books sold worldwide.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hits cinemas on 21st October.