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Lee Child Talks The Next Reacher Movie

Exclusive - And he reveals the title of Reacher 20!

Lee Child

Lee Child, the laconic legend behind the unstoppable one-man army that is Jack Reacher, popped into Empire Towers today to record an appearance on the Empire Podcast. You’ll be able to hear the full interview next Friday (September 26), but in the meantime Child dropped a few choice tidbits that we couldn’t wait to share with you.

First, we asked the Coventry-born author to fill us in on the status of the next Reacher movie, Never Go Back. He confirmed that Chris McQuarrie, who wrote and directed Jack Reacher, the 2012 movie based on One Shot which famously starred Tom Cruise as Reacher, will not be calling the shots this time around.

“McQuarrie is going to be in post-production on Mission: Impossible 5,” he said. “He just physically can’t do it. It’s going to be a new backroom crew, which I think is good. I thought the McQuarrie movie was fantastic, but let’s see someone else’s take on it.”

Child, who said that he was expecting to see a screenplay for the film “pretty soon”, talked about the decision (not his) to turn the eighteenth Reacher novel into the second Reacher movie, given that it comes at the end of a four-novel arc with a lot of set-up. “Any of these books, you look at them and say ‘we could do that’," he said, "but then you look at it and go, ‘well, how are we going to do it? They’re all very difficult.’”

Child added that a chief appeal of Never Go Back, in which Reacher arrives in Virginia to talk to a female MP he’s been flirting with by phone (he’s that kinda guy) only to find she’s been arrested and he’s about to be re-enlisted in the army, was the relationship Reacher forms with a young girl called Samantha Dayton, who may or may not be his daughter.

“It was a thing that convinced them about which book to make for the next movie,” he said. “It’s almost a three-hander in terms of audience appeal – you’ve got Reacher, you’ve got the woman sidekick (Major Susan Turner), and then you’ve got this strong teenage girl character which they were very interested in.”

Child was in London to talk about Personal, the new Reacher novel, but we couldn’t let him leave without asking him about the 20th Reacher novel, due next year. “I’ve just started it,” he says. “I can’t give you a sneak preview because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve written the first couple of pages, I have no idea what’s going to happen on page 3. He hasn’t hit anybody yet – he’s just got off a train.”

But he could, he said, tell us what Reacher 20 is called. And it’s the most Jack Reacher title yet.

“The title is Make Me,” he smiled.

September 2015 can’t come soon enough.

Personal is on sale now in hardback and ebook form.