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Will 'Reacher' Season 2 adapt second novel in Lee Child series? Showrunner says don't assume anything

Is 1998's Die Trying up next or will the hit series go in a completely unexpected direction?

By Josh Weiss
Jack Reacher Die Trying PRESS AMAZON

With Reacher primed (no pun intended) to return for a second season at Amazon, fans are starting to speculate about which book in Lee Child's series the show will adapt next. Since the first eight episodes are a translation of the first novel — 1997's The Killing Floor — one might assume that its direct sequel, 1998's Die Trying, is up next. However, showrunner and executive producer Nick Santora (a vet of CBS's Scorpion and Quibi's Most Dangerous Game) says no one should be jumping to such rash conclusions at this important juncture.

“It’s tough," he remarked during an interview with TVLine. "There are 26 [Jack Reacher] books, and then there are short story anthologies…. And there’s so much thought that has to go into our decision. Do we want it to be similar to Season 1, because Season 1 was successful? Do we want to go a little different? There’s so much that Lee gives us to choose from."

Santora continued: “The good news is we have Lee Child as an executive producer on this show and we have other producers on this show — we have Amazon, we have Skydance, we have Paramount — and we will sit and discuss it. But it’s a not a problem when you have too much good material to choose from. The problem is when you’re staring at an empty space, asking, ‘What am I going to write?'”

Given that Child's Reacher-based stories take place all around the globe, the production team really has the proverbial pick of the litter. "Lee Child has set up stories in small towns, in big cities… in the United States, and stories that take us to Europe…. There’s a plethora to select from,” Santora concluded. “It’s just a question of everyone putting their heads together, talking it out and deciding what would be fun for fans. The good news is you can pick almost anything and you’re going to have a good story.”

Even if subsequent seasons do go in completely unexpected directions, series star Alan Ritchson is confident his protagonist will still receive help from the allies he made across the first season. “They set the bar so high that we’d be remiss not to see them again,” the actor recently told Collider. “So, I hope we do. I don’t know how that’ll play out, but that would be one area that we deviate from the books a little bit, I think, to the benefit of audiences, if you see them pop up more.”

The character of Reacher previously appeared in two big screen adaptations starring Tom Cruise in the title role. The first film kicked off a longstanding professional relationship with Cruise and writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, which continues on the Mission: Impossible franchise.

All eight episodes of Reacher Season 1 are now streaming on Prime Video.