When it comes to adapting a book for film, one of the largest issues is how to find a lead that will do the material justice while also keeping in mind the physical traits fans have memorized.
That dilemma crops up time and time again, from Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games" to who would play Steve Jobs in a potential movie, but the challenge was no less apparent than with the casting of Tom Cruise as Lee Child's statuesque Jack Reacher.
The 6'5 retired military cop, who weighs in at 250 pounds in the books, will be played by shorter leading man Tom Cruise in the upcoming "One Shot." When news was announced over the summer, fans were not pleased.
In an interview with Empire magazine, Cruise admits that he is "very sensitive" to the casting debate.
"This is Lee's book and Lee's character," the 49-year-old actor says. "Him giving me his blessing is what made me do it. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have done it."
Indeed, a post on Lee Child's website says the author is "thrilled" with Cruise in the part. "Don't forget Lee has spent equal time on either side of the page/screen divide and understands better than most that changes are necessary and inevitable," the post says. "And like Reacher, [Child] doesn't favor half-measures...if we're going to have a movie, then let's have a movie star in it!"
Reacher's stature is just one aspect of the character, Cruise says in his interview with Empire, adding that it's a role he's committed to portraying, lack of height, rugged looks and girth be damned.
"Reacher is such a great character," he says. "He doesn't have a cell phone, he doesn't have email. He's off the grid...In a sense he's sort of a Dirty Harry, a James Bond, a Josey Wales."
The Cruise-starring "One Shot" is scheduled to bow in theaters on February 8, 2013. Read the rest of Cruise's interview in the December issue of Empire magazine.
Had to cross-post from another webblog since there are so many comments here about this issue. But before I begin, those of you who are perplexed at the strongly-held opinions of the Cruise-is-not-Reacher crowd, you really need to read the books to understand that Reacher's strength, decision-making, action moves, to a certain extent even his thinking, etc. are all in one way or another connected to his imposing physical appearance. And, this is not fan fantasy–Child himself wrote the books this way. Having said that ...
First, it appears Lee Child sold out his loyal readers by agreeing to allow a 5'6" runt to play 6'5" Reacher. (Strong words, but yes, I am a bit ticked off.) I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough to even remotely consider Cruise as Jack Reacher. I read every one of the thrillers and like millions of readers eagerly waited for the day a Lee Child-approved movie would come out.
Second, how ridiculously out of control is this fool's ego that he thought he could play Jack Reacher? Especially when there were at least a half dozen actors who could fit the role to near perfection. When I heard about Cruise playing this role, I resolved to avoid this movie, even though I waited for years to see Jack Reacher on the big screen. Guess I am not the only one.
Please, Mr. Child, give us a silver screen Reacher who's equal to the book version. Surely, you don't need the money. You are famous already to millions of fans. And Jack Reacher doesn't need a big-name actor to cross over and establish himself on the big screen. To his fans, Reacher is a hell of a lot bigger than Cruise, in more ways than one. I don't know the inside story but how could you let this happen?
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OK, nobody likes Tom Cruise as Reacher. I've read all the other suggested actors; hasn't anyone thought about James Caveizel? (Pretty sure I misspelled his name) John Reece in "Person of Interest." Also don't understand why we're all wasting so much energy on this . . . sounds like a done deal.
If i was to watch this film with Cruise as reacher I would never read another child book. Cruise was casted in this part to make a buck but my guess the real reacher fans are laughing at the person that casted him ( Cruise)
A few platforms seaside is a snorkeling, scuba, along with swimming spot that is especially lovely throughout warm weather if the water can be relaxed high tend to be …snorkel gear
Gerard Butler with the persona from Law Abiding Citizen is Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise may be fine for anyone who has not read any Reacher novels. For the rest of us, it will be a joke.
We like Tom Cruise – He can make this role work I think. I have not read these books so don;t have a "picture" of the character so for me it probably won;t be a big factor.
Good to see I'm not the only one...having read all of the Reacher books, I also find Cruise to be a total misfit for the character. Reacher has a unique personality and stature all his own..and Tom Cruise is not anywhere near it. I was very disappointed when I read that Lee Child was "thrilled" with this casting. I would have much more respect for him if he had stayed true to his writing. I will not be seeing the movie.
Hey! How about Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond?
If Jack Reacher was able to speak from the pages of Lee Child, he would say something to the effect of "You gotta be kidding me".
Lots of people commenting here have named some great guys to fit this role. Another to consider would be Josh Duhamel- he's got the height and with a bit of muscle weight gain he'd come close. Trouble is there aren't a load of (known) actors who truly fit the build. But at least they come a damn sight closer than Tom Cruise. I say the best idea would be to find an unknown, HUGE dude in his mid-thirties (exactly as how he is initially described when we first met him) and let him be our new hero. I think people would embrace a new guy to be the face of Reacher.
What a great idea! Second that.
I think a modern day equivalent to Clint Walker or Gary Cooper would be much better. I think his size is too important a characteristic in this case to ignore. On the other hand, I am also glad it's not The Rock or some other wrestler.
I hope that Lee Childs reads these posts and takes a second "look" at Tom Cruise.He is No Reacher.Let Tom contnue on all his Misson Impossible movies. We wanta new hero. And Yes! we want someone who is Reacher.Maybe Russell Crowe or Hugh Jackman,sorry Tom,no true fan of these wonderful books will go see this film.
Tom Cruise has never let anyone down in movies. He is a true professional, a brilliant actor, and will be FABULOUS
in this movie. Go Tom!!!!
This is the same criticism Cruse received when he was cast as Lestat–even Ann Rice was against it initially; but then he did what he does best and stole the film.
I wonder if he has troll feet like Danny DeVito?
Ha ha ha. He's tiny.
I read Lee C because of his character of Reacher. Cruise is a terrible actor, totally unbelievable with way too much negative baggage for the role. I definitely will not see the movie. I enjoy Reacher"s irreverence too much to have Cruise butcher the character.
All I can say is I won't be seeing it. Being a fan, I just feel as if L. Child sold himself and his character out. I also feel that the feelings of his fans didn't matter to him at all. I would not pay money to see Cruise and his huge "ego" in anything. It is amazing what money can buy – apparantly people's integrity.
What can I say? Because of the casting, I won't watch the movie. Movies seldom live up to the excitement of a well-written book coupled with an avid reader's own imagination. In this case, the author's presentation of the physical image of Jack Reacher is embedded forever in the book series and in my mind. Watching Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher could have a negative impact on my enjoyment of future Reacher offerings from Mr. Child. There will be enough other people drawn to the movie just because Tom Cruise is in it that I'm sure my price of admission won't be missed. But I may have to imagine what a Reacher movie would have been like with, say Vince Vaughn or Russell Crow in it.
The perfect actor for Jack would be Dolph Lundgren. View Diamond Dogs and you'll agree.
UGGGHHHH! What about some unknowns or off the beaten path? Or knowns who fit the image? UUUGGGHHHHH! I really think I could even handle Jim Carrey...then there is Hugh Jackman, Wes Bentley, RUSSELL CROWE WOULD BE AWESOME; David Boreanaz; Nicholas Brendon, Joshua Jackson (!); Patrick Dempsey; Matthew Fox and Ralph Fiennes...and I could keep on going...
Nothing against him as an actor, I've enjoyed his movies over the years, but he is not the person who should play Reacher. Reacher's physicality is such an integral part of the character, besides the height/weight, the books liken him to a bum, drifter, rugged, not handsome. Sam Worthington could do it, I think, or someone built like Dolph Lundgren who can act.
And The Cruise goes on....and on...
All the A list stars will always get their choice roles, even over the opinions of the general public, it seems.
Do you know who would be the perfect Reacher....Howie Long. I know he hasn't done alot of acting but he is perfect physically and with Reacher, how much acting do you have to do.
TOM CRUISE? PLEASE....HUGH JACKMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE BEST CHOICE..TOM CRUISE...PLEASE.
LOUDER, MADGE, LOUDER!
The guy from the Transporter movies would have been just right as JR. Can't think of his name spelling Stratem? Now that's a REAL buff he-man that matches my idea of JR.
Everyone always gets really antsy about Cruise playing beloved characters from books (remember Lestat in "Interview with the Vampire"?), but in reality, Cruise is a good actor, regardless of his sketchy personal life. I think it's an interesting choice, and I think Cruise will surprise many people.
I can think of lots of actors I would prefer to Tom Cruise. I am upset that Lee Child gave him his blessing. I was thinking of Dwayne Johnson or Stephen Lang from Avatar. A BIG man who would look the part of someone who could take on ten guys without breaking a sweat. I haven't read all of the comments, but enough to know I am not in the minority. I will NOT go see this movie.
The guy from Avatar (and now Terra Nova) is not even six feet tall - they just shoot him to look it.
Jim Reach-Arounder? Is that his full name? Sounds like something Tom will really be able to sink his dic...er....teeth into
I have read all of Lee Child's Reacher novels, including the lastest just out at the end of Sept. I am such a fan and have passed the books onto a few others who were looking for something good to read. They too have become fans. My in-laws are the ones who got me going with Reacher. I am highly disappointed in the choosing of Tom for this character! Never in my mind can I picture him as Reacher. I am not sure if I will be able to endure watching this. I am not an exact fan of book to movies, as they usually do not meet my picture that I have created in my mind while reading the book. A Time to Kill has been about the only one that has met my expectations. Now, The Davinci Code and Angels and Demons starring Tom Hanks actually turned out okay. I wasn't sure about Hanks and then was pleasantly surprised. So, I am hoping that this is the case with Cruise, however he has disappointed me before.
If they can make Robbie Coltrane look like a half giant in the Harry Potter films; I'm sure they can make Cruise look 6'5" in this film.
this is a joke .especially since this movie is going to bomb at the box office.dosen;t the writer know every studio needs a loser movie for a tax write-off thats what there doing to you lee child.there not only destroying a well loved character you created they blinded you with whatever they payed you for the rights.i will not go see this movie and i will not see this movie even when it is on cable because this is completely wrong.
With Tom Cruise as lead I'll be sitting home opening night reading the next Jack Reacher novel. Mr Child, I hope they paid you well to destroy your character in the eyes of the reading and non-reading public.
.....so will they get the little people of the wizard of oz to play the other characters in the movie, so that TC can actually portray Mr. Reacher's height/weight? Now every time I read the book, if I still read them after the show I will think of TC yuk. That's enough to make me want to stop reading all together. Please Mr. Childs tells us it's a bad dream!
I agree with the comments from people who say Tom Cruise is not right for the role of Jack Reacher. I too have read all of the Jack Reacher novels. In my wildest imagination I would never, ever pick Cruise for the role of Reacher. He is way too small and not manly enough.
I have to agree. I have never considered Tom Cruise to be "manly" in any role he has played. He lacks the build, the very masculine essence of Jack Reacher. I hope Lee Child got his money upfront for allowing them to do the movie, but I will be one of the millions who elect not to see it. Sullivan Stapleton (of Strike Back) would be awesome in the role as would one of the plethora of actors out there who would naturally fit the character infinitely better. More importantly, the while Cruise has gotten by on charm more than real acting talent, the other actors are more credible.
I agree. Tom Cruise is a horrible choice. Too small, not manly enough, altogether wrong for this role.
Reacher's physique is very much a part of the character, and to take that away by using Tom Cruise is a big mistake. There are other actors who would play the part very well: Scott Bakula, Jason O'Mara, Adrian Paul, Tom Hanks....there's a lot of actors who are better suited to this role than Cruise.
The article says Child doesn't favor half-measures. Then why does he give his blessing to a half-man?
I love the Jack Reacher books. I'm already prejudiced against the movie.
So I guess everyone just forgot that Hugh jackman played Wolverine who is much, much shorter in the comic book actually famously short in the comic book! Jackman is like 6'2 and the fuss the comic book world made wasnt even glanced over. It's a movie people if they can make 7 ft blue alien I'm pretty sure they can put lifts in cruise's shoes!
"Hugh Jackman" would have been my choice as jack reecher!!!!
No way! He's not 6'5" either! What a disaster that would be, too! How about Lou Ferrigno? Or maybe Shaq! Yeah, much better choices.
This is one of the most dissapointing cast jobs I have ever seen, Jack Reacher is a great character and to see that tool portraying him on the big screen will not do the character justice. I don't think Tom Cruise even reaches 6' on a big screen!
Thankfully, I erased the 'two paged' version. Ugh. This tweaks my senisitivies and my sensibilities. I'm a writer. One that I hope produces a worthy series. Worthy of a big publishing house, well-oiled for handling controversy. Worthy of readership support, to initially, address a matter in my life, so that I may finally gain a living righteousness for persevering to walk the talk. The walk ought to be harmonic with the yap! Beyond that, the series is to begin and sustain an outreach foundation for local communities and churches doing the same in helping those whose hard-working efforts just aren't enough, regardless of denomination, and non-profit orgs doing the same. The more worthy the content and the wider sustaining public interest – the further the foundations reach – the better it's long term benefit. It's name will honor my mother and a friend I had a falling out with and walked away from. She did more to helping me at least get this far along, and I've always wanted to honor her family name, because her parents were also wonderful people with great heart, like my own mother, and my friend is a really great person, more like a sister, and I miss her. But, life moves forward. This relates to this response because of what decent Americans are going through in the midst of economic – swirlings. We are become like a pot being stirred whose 'swirlings' are drossing to the top just what we're really made of. The economically prudent film-maker is prudently wise to work with historically capable actors and actresses in carrying their new film projects, by asking them to play the characters of their lead roles. These men and women have paid their 'dues' and proven themselves capable of moving up through the ranks of film productions into lead roles. Going with that wisdom is best assurance to keeping each aspect of the film industry vital and viably alive in continuing to produce movies, and toward sustaining and improving public moral,while nationally enduring internal and external economic battles the likes of which we've never known, except during times of war. Curious. Additionally, authors get increased readership exposure when any of their work goes to motion picture screen. Since the author, or his family, agreed to know the increased exposure and eventual increasing audience readership 'silver lining', by willfully agreeing to the terms of the group putting his book to visual film production,at all, let alone infusing aspects of their own vision into it – inspired by the author's original work .........and... since there may be a greater beneficial purpose to it being portrayed,also, with their vision in mind .....then, let the powerful ego of the imagination begin to consider and mature to accepting 'the other'. There's too much riding on anything and everything that produces jobs and sustains keeping people employed. Once the series I'm writing is done, and I can venture into secular writing – voicing from an author's perspective myself, I would actually look forward to seeing my work put to film, because something about my work inspired film-makers to present my work in a way that benefited a greater good – even if doing so 'compromised' my 'little story' to some measure. Gee, and if something I wrote were to get artfully 'tweaked up' to doing something like that – then hoohah – big time 'SCORE' ! I think most author's with little exposure for their work feel that way, as well as the big dawgs out there getting their work put to film – in series. Ego's beware ! Now, something I don't like is slamming an actor's career. Tom 'Cat Casanova' Cruise is just as much fun and just as energizing a performer in film today, as he ever was. He refines his craft as he goes and he picks projects that enlarge and reveal the range of his acting ability. When you are able to carry box office hits – one after the other- and your audience has to vote with their dollars which great film production they are going to venture spending 30 bucks a head to see, as a family, and walk out the theater doors feeling good about – a Tom Cruise movie is more likely to get the dollar vote, because the projects he agrees to be a part of have all become 'must have's for many videophile's vaults – in order to remember the rush it was, or to remember the intensity of the film that the viewer experienced. And, for their kids to enjoy after dinner and homework that year. I'll never forget the opening of one of the MI films where the close-up of Tom is rock climbing, and the camera pans out to seeing him hanging off of a repelling rope, dangling alongside the vertical edge of a canyon's earthen red rock column. My heart and my stomach got re-acquainted real fast. Then Angie went and did it also in that great Smith movie. But, near to my heart are some smack down statements made. It's not intelligent nor ethical to hurl mud at people trying to do good work, keep their nose clean, and who steward their elevation to elevate others in their communities with their time, treasure, and talents. Tom certainly does the latter, and he's certainly seemed to manage doing the first two very well, also. Folks, that's role-model stuff, not smack down stuff. Talking smack about someone doing their best to do what is good would not survive even trying to fly in my family, when I was growing up. Spiritual enlightenment is less about who do the guru – and is everything about excelling to do well, with your brain in gear, and stewarding your time, treasure, and talents into other peoples lives where their own efforts aren't enough or where they CANNOT do for themselves. And that spirituality will dip down into one's community, whether their sense of 'community' is great, small, local, or even global. My impression is that Mr. Cruise isn't a taker as much as he is a giver, and people like him, who use their elevation to elevate others – really get the picture – and deserve to have the picture. When I can afford to buy his DVD, I'll get to see what little Suri's very talented and proven capable daddy brought to the film and audiences audiophile vaults. I've never been disappointed in anything that actor has done in film. That 'Cat' with the fab smile and gleaming twinkle in his eyes when he does – gets my vocal vote. Love. Peace. Joy.
Wow, Elizabeth. I hope your publishing house sets you up with a really tough editor. You badly need one. You're way too much in love with the sound of your own voice.
Chuck Lorre...is that you??
She's just hoping that Tom reads it and "discovers" her. Good luck! :)
Was it absolutely necessary to leave such a long ass comment!!! You're pathetic!! No one has time to read all that!!!
Too Long...didn't read this...sorry!
Congratulations; You just wrote your first novel. :\
All I can say is OMG! What are they thinking!
What, they couldn't find a tinier, more unstable guy? Must not have looked hard enough.
Why not cast an unknown??? I'm so sick of hollywood recycling the same actors when there are plenty of aspiring actors who are patiently waiting to get a break.
Tom Cruise is so wrong for this role. Are there not any actors over 6 feet available?
Ditto to Clementine's comments! Extremely disappointing casting!!
"Tom Cruise doesn't come close to the the character that is Jack Reacher. "
You do know he is an actor, right?
Gonna need some mad skills to act his way into being 6'5, 250.
Will someone explain to me why it is so critical for the actor playing this character to be of matching height? Is this book series all about this character's height? If it is, I have zero interest in reading it because unless this story is about an NBA player, I'm pretty sure not being tall is going to be okay.
You obviously haven't read the books if you think that physical description doesn't matter. His physical being IS the Jack Reacher character in many ways and dictates his reactions to almost everything. I CAN NOT believe Tom Cruise was cast. He is absolutely wrong in every way just as he was for Anne Rice. Surely Lee Childs didn't get to choose.
Hi andrew. Where u from? I'm 28 in nj
Man, you are either the most unclever 'bot ever, or really desparate.
Tom Cruise is way overrated as an actor. I am over him and have no interest in seeimg him in a film again.
I have read all of Child's books and love this character, but it is a disservice to the book to cast Cruise in the role. It may work for those who see it who have not read the books. We need an athletic, rugged manly man for this role.
You are so right. When he mentioned Cruise at the book festival in our local town, he was booed.
This is a joke!!! I love these novels and in no way can Tom Cruise portray Jack Reacher. With so many talented actors out there, this was the best Hollywood could do?
Here we go again mistcasting Tom Cruise in yet another movie with a devoted fanbase. Some of us are still aren't over him being cast as the vampire Lestat in "Interview With the Vampire." Now he's going to play Reacher? Damn. Wasn't Jeff Bridges available? Way to disappoint your fanbase Lee Child. Ugh.
what a waste. I have read ever single Jack Reacher book. Tom Cruise doesn't come close to the the character that is Jack Reacher. Reacher is a 6'5, 250 lb giant. In one the books he takes a .38 Special shot to the chest, and lives. Props to Tom Cruise as an actor but this role isn't right for him .
So, what you're saying is shorter people can't survive gunshot wounds?
Plus in the beginning of the series, Reacher is in his mid-thirties. Not only is Cruise too short, he is too old. I will not go see this movie. I'd rather keep my image of Reacher as it is in the book.
I also agree that Tom Cruise is a real stretch for the Reacher character. I was totally thrilled when I heard about the movie but Tom Cruise is not who can do true justice to Lee Child's character. While Mr. Child may be thrilled that Mr. Cruise is on board, after all it does guarantee a certain amount of audience because of his long and viable career, I feel that there have to be other actors out there who could truly fit the look of the part. Mr. Cruise just does not have that rough and tough edge that is the heart and soul of Reacher. Unfortunately, I would not go to a theater for this movie.
Please – Russell Crowe would be a great Jack Reacher... or Ray Stephenson or Sean Bean. But Tiny Tom? I just don't see it....not quite "manly' enough.........
TOTALLY agree. Have to pass on this one. Obviously they must have owed him something, because he's just not Reacher by any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully they will make a second one without him, but can't imagine anyone wanting to see Cruise anymore
I also agree with you, I also wanted to comment on Cruises' looks, he looks so washed out.
Really looking old with the lines.
That is a bad hair dye job. He is still cute, but the hair isn't.
having a slow day tracie? that is a really gross and tacky comment you made. I guess the old saying is true does not take much to amuse an idiot.
I can see how people would be bothered considering Tom Cruise is like 5'4". Otherwise watch The Outsiders, some of his best work to date. I think he had one line in that whole movie which was perfect for him.
And let the Cruise BAshing begin! No, Cruise is not 6', but he's nowhere as short as 5'4" either. I was the writer's assistant on one of his films years back and stood right next to him many times, but I understand how your envy of his fame and fortune might make you go for the lowest common denominator and poke fun at his height. Of course he's laughing with you - all the way to the Near-Billionaire's Bank of America.
While I've always been a Cruise fan, the fact is that Reacher's physique is half of his character. I'm not necessarily in favor of type-casting, but this one just isn't a good fit. I'm disappointed that Child approved it just to have a major movie star in the role, but I suspect he's going to regret it when it hits the big screen. He's watered down the franchise. This would have been ideal for someone like James Arness.
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