Tom Cruise returning…

Deadline’s Mike Fleming is hearing that Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are moving ahead with a sequel to the Tom Cruise-toplined ‘Jack Reacher,’ with plan to base the follow-up on author Lee Child’s eighteenth book in the Reacher series, ‘Never Go Back.’

The book, published this September, is officially described as follows:

“Former military cop Jack Reacher has made his way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in north-eastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. He’s there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.

But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to contemplate.

When threatened, you can run or fight. Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.”

According to Fleming’s source, Paramount was looking to get Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote and directed the first movie, back to tackle the script but the filmmaker is too busy prepping ‘Missions: Impossible 5’ for its summer 2014 start. However, Cruise and the studio are hoping McQuarrie will return to direct when he wraps up on the fifth installment of ‘Missions: Impossible.’