Tom Cruise's second attempt at bringing Lee Child's Jack Reacher hero to the big screen, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, opened to a modest $23 million at the domestic box, and added $31 million globally to reach the $54 million mark after only a few days in release. Seeing as how the budget was kept around $60 million, the studio's foray into the bloody knuckled world of Jack Reacher likely will end up being a financial win -- even though critics were less enamored with Never Go Back than they were with the original Jack Reacher (40% on Rotten Tomatoes for the sequel, versus 62% for the original).

So, has a full-blooded franchise been born? It's entirely possible that Tom Cruise can continue to break bones (and cash paychecks) as the wandering Reacher. And seeing as how Lee Child has 20 novels and counting in the series, it'd be easy for Paramount to pluck another Reacher novel off the local library shelf -- they still have those, right? -- and had the book to a fledgling screenwriter in hopes of striking gold. Several of our readers expressed dismay that Cruise and director Ed Zwick went with Never Go Back as the source material for a sequel, what with much better Reacher books at their disposal. Here are a few stories that I think would be perfect for Jack Reacher 3:

61 Hours

The strongest and most captivating Jack Reacher stories are the ones where our favorite Right-Guy-In-The-Wrong-Place hero is racing a figurative clock that Lee Child has established in his plot, and 61 Hours has that gimmick built right into the title. After the bus he's riding on veers off the road in a snowstorm, Reacher finds himself aiding South Dakota law enforcement in protecting a woman set to testify against the head of a drug-running biker gang. They need to keep this poor, innocent woman alive in blizzard conditions for -- you guessed it -- 61 hours, as forces both foreign and domestic move on the town with the intention of making sure she never gets to testify. The novel ends with an explosive climax, and as readers of the Reacher series will know, if you are going to adapt 61 Hours, you damn sure better follow it with...

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