McQuarrie On “Mission Impossible 5” & Beyond

I attended a small roundtable with filmmaker and Hollywood’s famous go-to scribe Christopher McQuarrie earlier this afternoon to talk about “Jack Reacher,” an adaptation of Lee Child’s “One Shot”.

During the conversation, Graffiti with Punctuation asked about the status of “Mission: Impossible 5” and if McQuarrie had any new updates on “The Wolverine” which he wrote.

I followed that up with a question listing a half dozen projects McQuarrie’s name has been attached to in recent years, and I asked what the status of each was. Here’s his answers for all of them, plus he also amusingly confirmed he is NOT in the running to direct the next “Star Wars” film:

Mission Impossible 5
With “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol” director Brad Bird confirmed to not be returning, McQuarrie’s name became attached as a possible director for a fifth “Mission: Impossible” a few weeks ago. Paramount is reportedly very pleased with the work he has done on ‘Reacher’, and McQuarrie happily confirmed the talk albeit admitting it is extremely early days yet:

“We’ve just started talking about it. He [Tom Cruise] is very busy with ‘All You Need is Kill’, JJ [Abrams] is very busy with ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, I’m busy promoting this movie. Obviously, I love working with him [Cruise] and would love to do it, it’s daunting in that I would have to follow Brad Bird… you know, the biggest movie of the genre.

At the same time that’s kinda what I like about it, I like to come from a place of lowered expectation and I have to imagine that when they find out a filmmaker like me who feels, as someone put it earlier today ‘street level’… between ‘Way of the Gun’ and ‘Reacher’ and movies like that, I have to imagine that when it becomes real that people’s expectations could not be any lower.

Without Remorse
At last report back in August, McQuarrie was closing a deal to pen and potentially direct the film adaptation of Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel following the John Kelly character – a darker counterpart to Clancy’s more well-known hero Jack Ryan.

“Yes, I am attached to write the script, no directing deal. As soon as this [‘Jack Reacher’ publicity tour] is over that’s the next thing I’m supposed to start writing.”

A multi platform new property described as ‘Seven Samurai’-esque but transferred to the battlefields of the modern day Middle East.

“‘Rubicon’ is a graphic novel that was brought to me by some friends that I’m loosely attached to. it’s a world I very much love and want to do and it’s something I want to do with my brother. I really wanna do my version of Seven Samurai and ‘Zulu’ and the world of combat in Afghanistan fascinates me.”

The Monster of Florence
An adaptation of Douglas Preston’s non-fiction work about the author discovering his home in Italy was the scene of one of sixteen brutal serial murders committed in the same manner between 1968-1985.

“There is a script written by myself and Nathan Alexander (my co-writer on ‘Valkyrie’) it’s an extremely difficult adaptation because so much of it takes place in the past. As is typical in my career we have written a script that we love and nobody else does.”

A biopic script about Abraham Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth.

“it’s a script that sits in my draw waiting for somebody with the balls to make it.”

Star Blazers
A live-action adaptation of the 70’s Japanese anime property “Space Battleship Yamato” which was re-dubbed and re-edited into the series “Star Blazers” in western markets.

“Yes, the longest rights negotiation of planet Earth. I think we’re very very close to finally… there’s one last piece in the chain that needs to be worked out and when that’s done I would immediately be able to start writing that.”

A remake of a classic UK sci-fi mini-series about a group of secret government agents who are rescued from a Himalayan plane crash by an advanced civilization.

“Champions, oh my god you really did your homework… ‘Champions’ was an old BBC miniseries. Guillermo [Del Toro] did an adaptation which then I came in and kinda or a re-write slash collaboration with Guillermo on. It was part of the whole United Artists/ MGM universe which, when that went the way it did, it sort of tumbled around out there somewhere. It has recently come back around – people are talking about it again. It feels like it may resurface again and interestingly enough where Guillermo and I were when we started that versus where we are now it could be a lot of fun.”

The Wolverine
The just wrapped James Mangold-directed film about Hugh Jackman’s X-Men character set after the events of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’:

“I don’t know a thing. The movie went into prep right as ‘Reacher’ did. Here’s the irony – when I worked on ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ I was re-writing Mark Bomback to get that movie green lit, when I was unavailable to work on ‘The Wolverine’ they hired Mark Bomback to re-write me so who knows what’s gonna happen.”