Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Meet your silver screen Jack Reacher, possibly....

In news that is sure to get hardcore crime fiction fans up in arms even more than Hollywood's decision to make its own version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, internet rumours are swirling that Tom Cruise might play Jack Reacher in a film version of Lee Child's ONE SHOT.

Quite frankly, I'm flabbergasted. Not because Cruise isn't a good actor - he is far better than many people give him credit for. Just check out Born on the Fourth of July, amongst several very good dramatic roles, or his self-deprecating cameo in Tropic Thunder. The man might have built a career on good looks, but like Brad Pitt, he can also act when given the right roles.

But as everyone knows, Cruise is at the shorter end of the height spectrum, while Child's Reacher is, well, clearly not. At 6 foot 5 and weighing a muscled 230 (105kgs or so for metric system readers), Reacher is quite the physical specimen in Child's bestselling series. Cruise has 'muscled up' for several roles, and is undoubtedly a fit and active actor, but he's not a Reacher-type. And surely there must be plenty of great actors out there, big names or up-and-comers, who might suit the role better.

If the rumours are true, and Cruise is interested in or considering the role, it seems to me like one of those 'big star wants to play a popular character, potential franchise of films' type deal, rather than because he is suited to the role. What do you think? Could Cruise pull off Jack Reacher? If not, who would you like to see in the role? What have been some of your most and least favourite castings for crime fiction adaptations (Clint Eastwood as Terry McCaleb in Blood Work? Alec Baldwin (Heaven's Prisoners) or Tommy Lee Jones (In the Electiric Mist) as Dave Robicheaux? Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep?). Would love to get your thoughts on the matter.

Hat tip to Crimespree magazine for the heads-up re: the Cruise rumours.


  1. Well, this would guarantee that I wouldn't see the movie.

  2. Hi Craig
    I'm a big fan of Reacher, now I'd never say never about seeing a movie based on Reacher no matter who was playing the lead role but I'd wait to see what the overall movie looked like before spending my hard earned on a ticket.
    Tom Cruise is a fine actor but he doesn't really fit my idea of how Reacher would look. I'd be happier if picked someone with less of a profile perhaps someone like Kiwi actor Grant Bowler (From NZ show Outrageous Fortune and US show True Blood).

  3. I am a big Reacher fan. I've read all the books. I post on the forum. To put it mildly I am horrified by this casting news.

    Reacher is 6' 5" tall. Enough said.

    If it's Tom Cruise. I'm not seeing the film and will post that opinion far and wide.

    Hopefully this this just an awful rumor and not true at all.

    I can hardly believe that even Tom Cruise himself would think he could fake height.

  4. Oh Craig, say it isn't so! Tom Cruise? Really? Are we sure that the article wasn't in the April 1st edition of Crimespree? Of course it could be that the pint-sized impressario is simply bankrolling the project and not intending to take the lead role, perhaps. Personally I'd like to see someone with physical substance in the role, like Liam Neeson or Daniel Craig. Sean Bean might be slightly short for the part but has that military background in Sharpe in his repertoire. Tom Cruise is a delightful little chap with great charisma, but I'm afraid I'd cast Ryan Stiles as Reacher ahead of him.

  5. Are they serious, it's not April the 1st is it? Tom's, what? a foot too short!!!! And that's just the start of where it is sooo wrong.

  6. This article in the LA Times might amuse you:

    The positive spin in the article followed by the very negative response in comments is revealing. Unfortunately Hollywood casting has more to do with funding sources than appropriate talent.

  7. I guess star power over rides any issues of character authenticity. I would've thought the Reacher novels had enough market currency to be able to not need such a massive marquee name. My main worry is not so much Cruise, specifically, but how much they'll massage and possibly leach out the novel's character's key essence, to fit Cruise's audience's expectations and his own preferences.

  8. Hugh Jackman, channeling Wolverine grit only with a shorter haircut could pull it off... much better than Tom Cruise.