Christopher McQuarrie Is Without Remorse

From Lee Child to Tom Clancy

With expectations high for the Tom Cruise-starring Jack Reacher, Paramount are keen to keep writer/director Christopher McQuarrie in-house. Deadline report that he's now been offered Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse, and that a deal's very close to being finalised.

Without Remorse is about John Kelly (later AKA "Mr Clark") who's juggling both a personal revenge mission and a Pentagon-arranged operation to liberate POWs from North Vietnam. The suggestion is that McQuarrie wil have his work cut out making a palatable blockbuster from what's an extremely violent and bleak source novel. Or here's an idea: let's have an extremely violent and bleak movie. Y'know, for grown-ups.

Clancy's principal hero Jack Ryan isn't involved, but the book takes place very much in the same "universe", meaning that future cross-pollination is possible if Kenneth Branagh's Ryan reboot spawns further films and Without Remorse is a success. Kelly/Clark has appeared in the Ryan films already, played by Willem Dafoe in Clear And Present Danger, and by Liev Schreiber in The Sum Of All Fears.

McQuarrie is best known as a screenwriter, with the likes of The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, and the upcoming Wolverine and Jack The Giant Killer to his name. He made his directorial debut with the brilliant (and violent and bleak) The Way Of The Gun in 2000, but Jack Reacher is his first gig behind the camera since then.

The screenplay is the first job on Without Remorse, so we're a long way from a start date. In the meantime, Jack Reacher is out in the UK on December 28, and you can check out the trailer here, and read Empire's shot-by-shot breakdown here.