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Tom Cruise’s ‘One Shot’ Becomes ‘Jack Reacher’

Tom Cruise
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Modern cinema is franchise-crazy these days, which would explain why Paramount is changing the name of ‘One Shot,’ which stars Tom Cruise, into ‘Jack Reacher.’ The film is scheduled to open this December 21.

The film comes from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (still best known for his Oscar winning script for ‘The Usual Suspects’), and also features Werner Herzog, Rosamund Pike, and Richard Jenkins. It was based on the 2005 Lee Child novel of the name ‘One Shot.’

Considering all the problematic tinkering a studio can do these days, this sound much better than – say – a last minute conversion to 3-D, or piles of re-shoots, but it also makes the film sound generic, and slightly more like ‘John Carter.’

The idea behind it is simple: Get people comfortable with the name, and make the name a brand. Few films have truly great titles, so this isn’t troubling so much as it is a sign of the times.  Where ‘One Shot’ is evocative of violence, ‘Reacher’ suggests this is another star vehicle for Cruise. Post-’Mission : Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ (and that’s a nonsense title if we’ve ever heard one), it’s a smart move for the studio and the rebounding star. That is, if it works for audiences.

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