With "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" already in the can and coming out this December, Adam Shankman's "Rock of Ages" musical currently shooting, and "Tron: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski's "Oblivion" prepping up for a summer 2013 release, Tom Cruise is making plans for his next big tentpole vehicle. This time it's an adaptation of Lee Child's 2005 crime thriller "One Shot" that is being set up over at Paramount. Being scripted by Cruise's go-to screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who penned "Valkyrie" and 'Ghost Protocol,' the writer practically tailor makes scripts for the superstar whenever the A-lister is interested or semi-interested in a project.
Now, three actresses are vying for the lead female part and the winner could be decided upon by the end of the weekend. They include Hayley Atwell, Alexa Davalos and Rosamund Pike, but you can breathe a sigh of relief if you worried rising indie actress Brit Marling was going to bite, she's not on this list (scheduling was apparently an issue; she's shooting her own project "The East" soon). English actress Atwell is probably the best known at this point for her recent turn as Peggy Carter in the Marvel tentpole "Captain America: The First Avenger," which turned out a lot better than any of us suspected. If there's a weak link in that film, it's not Atwell. Pike, another English actress, probably comes second on the public Q-rating factor and some will remember her for her supporting role in "An Education," the film that turned Carey Mulligan into must-cast "It" girl as far as Hollywood casting agents and directors are concerned. Davalos recently starred in "Clash of the Titans" and is also known for her role in "The Chronicles of Riddick."
Christopher McQuarrie, who also won a Best Screenwriting Oscar in 1996 for "The Usual Suspects," will also be directing. It will be his first time in the director's chair since "The Way of the Gun," a Tarantino-esque talky 'n' guns-like picture that arrived during the glut of Tarantino knock-offs.
The pulpy, action-driven books focus on Jack Reacher, a former military policeman-turned-drifter, and they stretch to over a dozen novels so far. “One Shot” is the ninth in the series, and it involves Reacher being drawn into the case of a military sniper accused of five murders, and discovering a cover-up along the way. Cruise pretty much runs completely opposite to how Reacher is depicted in the series of books -- 6'5, monstrously huge, blond -- but this wouldn't be the first time Hollywood square-pegged an A-lister into a role.
Paramount is eyeing a fall shoot, which might normally mean a 2012 release, but considering how booked the 2012 tentpole season is, we'd expect this one to land in 2013. [THR]