When Tom Cruise was initially cast as Jack Reacher there was a bit of a hoohah amongst the loyal readers of Lee Child’s books because… well, Tom Cruise is no Jack Reacher.
Jack Reacher is 6ft something tall, his hands are huge. All of him is huge.
Tom Cruise is the opposite of that. He’s more a Jack Can’t-Quite-Reacher. If any of his enemies are on the top shelf then there’s trouble.
At the time, though, with Cruise producing the Reacher films as well (I think, anyway) it was very much a decision which was championed by Lee Child. The author would say that the size of Jack Reacher didn’t matter – it wasn’t about physical size, but merely about the size of the person’s presence. Or some sort of bollocks which explained why he’d been happy to have a couple of films made with a tiny hero instead of the brick shit house that should have been there.
The films weren’t bad, in all honesty. They were perfectly watchable. But they weren’t Jack Reacher films. You didn’t see any of the characters express any sort of doubt about fighting the hero, as you almost always see in the books. There was none of that. It was more like, “Yeah, we can take him. He’s titchy.”
And there were bits when, on second or third viewing, it was clear that Cruise was acting from a box. Or others, like Rosemund Pike, were acting from a hole.
Lee Child has recently released the latest Reacher novel, Past Tense. He’s also said that there are to be no more Reacher films. And that he’d like to reboot the premise on something like Netflix – after all, it’s worked wonders for Michael Connelly’s Bosch.
He’s also – coincidentally – mentioned that, actually, we were all right at the time and Tom Cruise was too short to play Jack Reacher.
I’m sure the two things aren’t related.