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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Calling All Lee Child Fans! Who should play Jack Reacher?

Unbelievable as it may seem at first to those who know Lee Child's work, Tom Cruise is in talks to play the six-foot-five protagonist, Jack Reacher. And yet, The Guardian reports that Child himself has expressed eagerness for Cruise to take the part. "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way," said Child, in answer to fans who felt Cruise might be too diminutive for the role.

Personally, I think this could work. Tom Cruise is more than a pretty face (which, incidentally, is nowadays lined with character), he's also a pretty damned good actor. Anybody who doesn't know it yet, should watch the arty drama Magnolia (1999) in which Cruise plays a bad-ass bad ass. And Rainman (1988), for which he should have got an Oscar. And Born On The 4th Of July, for which he got an Oscar nomination as well as the Golden Globe Award.

Jack Reacher is a complex character. He's a Batman-style vigilante, a logical strategist, a champion shooter, a loner, a compassionate man, a cold-blooded killer. Now I ask you this: who can portray all that on the silver screen, without looking like all brawn and no brain, without appearing a wimp or a killing machine or an action hero?


Steve said...

You are painfully wrong.
To anyone who has read more than a few of the Reacher books, and considers themself a fan, casting Cruise for the role is sacrilege. Reacher's size/mass is one of the most consistent and fundamental characteristics.
Child's comments smack of a total sell-out. His attempt to wave-off the disparity between what he's written and the casting of Cruise sounds like a man enamored by a growing bank account, not someone with integrity.
Cast Dwayne Johnson or Ray Stevenson.

Yvonne Eve Walus said...

As someone who's read the books and considers herself a fan, I beg to differ. Yeah, Reacher's size is an important visual clue throughout the series. But so is his wanderlust, his lack of material possessions, his lonesomeness, his willingness to fight injustices big and small, his prowess in a brawl, his intelligence, his ability to sense the time of day (not mentioned in all the books), his integrity, his reluctance to be tied down to place or person.

Now, if out of all that the creators of the movie had to remove one thing, is his size really his most defining characteristic? Frankly, I'd be more upset if they gave him a suitcase full of clothes.

Look, I'm not saying the movie's going to be a guaranteed success. If they treat it as yet another Mission Impossible instalment, we're doomed. But that won't be determined by how tall the lead actor is.

Anonymous said...

You cannot discount size as a prime delineator in the persona of Reacher. Like it or not, a physical presence enables a frontal approach to any situation where violence is a by=product; and if your hero does not take the frontal approach he is not Jack Reacher. Please lose Tom Cruise.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with Tom Cruise just that he look very much like a kid. I would very much prefer Steven Seagal_ he got the look and the build.

Anonymous said...

well played Mr. Seagal but unfortunately Mr. Cruise has snagged the role. And yes size does matter....too bad could have at least used someone six foot tall.

Anonymous said...

Cannot think of a worse actor to play Jack Reacher. The fact that Tom Cruise is half Reacher's size is beside the point, he doesn't come close to the charisma required. Have been eager to see these books made into movies, but couldn't force myself to sit through an hour and a half of a half size, half assed so called actor like this

Anonymous said...

i think jim caviezel who plays reese on person of interest would be a better choice to play jack reacher.

Anonymous said...

Channing Tatum is Jack Reacher. Big ,Nordic looking. Looks like an Army guy. He has a calm quality. Quiet confidence. Tom Cruise has none of these qualities, so so disappointing to Reacher fans !

Karen West said...

Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Sullivan Stapleton

Karen West said...

Gerard Butler, Jason Statham or Sullivan Stapleton would have been better choices