Tom Cruise as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher?

Because of my Hunt For Reacher seriesreaders frequently ask me how I feel about Tom Cruise portraying Lee Child’s Jack Reacher in the upcoming film.

Every Lee Child fan knows by now that Tom Cruise will star in the first ever Reacher movie. The anticipation is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking, isn’t it?

We’ve waited a long time for Reacher to reach the big screen. It’s been 15 years since Reacher debuted in Killing Floor, and a movie is almost here.

Some fans are a little nervous about the film in the same way parents are nervous when they send their kid off to college. They love Reacher and they want to keep him just the way he lives now in their heads as well as in their hearts.

Tom Cruise fans put it a little differently. Especially if they’re unfamiliar with the books, they’d say Lee Child’s book One Shot and his character, Jack Reacher, are the subjects of the next big Tom Cruise movie. Most of these fans aren’t nervous at all. They love Tom Cruise and know he’ll do a fabulous job with this fabulous role.

Those of us who are both Lee Child and Tom Cruise fans hope this powerhouse team has the juice to run a Reacher franchise for a very long time. What could be better for fans than a long, long run for the books and the films?

Regular readers know I’m a serious Child and Reacher fan. If we’re required to choose, I’m rooting for the home team. No question.

But there’s more for fans to gain by joining forces, it seems to me. Much more.

Reacher returns in print on July 16 with Lee’s new short storyDeep Down including a thrilling preview of the September 11 release of Lee Child’s new Reacher novel A Wanted Man.

Most of us will have read both of these within thirty days after they are released. But not too long afterward, the movie premiers. On December 21, we can get another new Reacher experience on the big screen. I’m really looking forward to it.

Titled simply Jack Reacher, the film is slated to open in the U.S. for the big holiday movie season. The trailer was released on Tom Cruise’s 50th birthday this week.

Now that you know how I feel about it, how do you feel about Tom Cruise as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher? No profanity, please. This blog is rated PG-13.


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37 Responses to Tom Cruise as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher?

  1. Melinda VanLone July 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I watched the trailer and thought…no. No, he’s not Jack Reacher. His voice is all wrong, his pretty boy face is all wrong, and we won’t even get started on the height/build issue. I like Tom Cruise as an actor, but still feel it was absolutely the wrong casting choice (even though I know they probably didn’t have another one and all the political and money drama that went into the making of this movie).

    That said…what I’m trying to do is embrace the fact that this movie is a new experience. Sure, it’s following a story and character I know and love, but in reality it’s more than that. Or different, I should say. No, it won’t be the book, exactly (and really, what movie is exactly like the book? Very few). No, it won’t be the ideal I have of Reacher in my head. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to watch, or entertaining, or everything else I expect from an action flick. Most likely it will be a blast, and I’ll enjoy it. I’ll stomp all the way there griping about Cruise being all wrong, but at the end of the day I’ll most likely have a good time. And that’s all I need out of a movie really.

  2. Dave Grist July 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Intriguing! It’s obvious to question the physical disparities between Reacher on the page and Cruise as Reacher on film but I think it’s far more important that Reacher’s personality, code of ethics and lethal competence are represented. I’m certainly looking forward to the UK release (any chance of a preview screening in Phoenix AZ in November?)

  3. Debra Eve July 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Not a Tom Cruise fan! Although his acting has gotten better in recent years, I’ve never seen a movie where he wasn’t, well, Tom Cruise. (Contrasted with someone like, say, Viggo Mortensen, who’s almost unrecognizable as Viggo Mortensen from character to character.)

    What I thought odd about the trailer — Tom Cruise has a higher-pitched voice than I remembered, so I found his voice over unconvincing. Think I’ll be watching this one on DVD!

  4. Rhonda Hopkins July 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I am definitely NOT a Cruise fan and I was so disappointed to hear that he was playing Reacher. He just doesn’t fit the role. I love Reacher and I wanted this debut movie to make new fans for the books. And maybe it will. I know there are Tom Cruise fans out there. And I want it to succeed for Lee Child. Not that I know him, but he’s one of my favorite authors and he seems like an over all nice guy. So even though I don’t like Cruise, I’m cheering for the movie.

  5. Jacki Newbery July 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    When I heard Tom Cruise was going to play Jack Reacher, I thought “Are they kidding me? Tom Cruise may do action, but he’s no Jack Reacher.” He’s also too short, wrong coloring, wrong build, etc. But after my brain had time to calm down, I decided I have no choice but to accept the inevitable. After all, I wasn’t in charge of casting or anything. Like Melinda said, no movie will ever be like the book and no actor will ever be good enough to replace the one that exists in each and every one of our minds. I realized that I need to be fair and give Tom Cruise a chance. After all, Anne Rice hated him for Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, but once she saw him on the screen, she retracted her statement.

    When I see the movie, I will no doubt be picking it apart, comparing it scene by scene with the book (I already don’t care for the retitling, but again, I’m not in charge). What I won’t do is automatically hate Cruise as Reacher. I want to see for myself how well he does with the character. Based on what I’ve seen in the trailer, it looks like he’s done a good job. Tom Cruise *can* act. Let’s give him a chance.

  6. Lisa Hall-Wilson July 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is out the weekend before. Interesting. Stiff competition for moviegoer attention this holiday season.

  7. Kristy K. James July 6, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Normally I wouldn’t watch a movie before reading the book, but in this case I think that’s the way I’m going to have to play it. The trailer looks interesting, and my daughter loves Tom Cruise, so I expect we’ll be sitting in the theater as soon as it comes to our small town. 🙂

  8. Dave King July 6, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    I thought Jack Reacher was nearer to 6 foot 6 inches not 5 foot 6 inches!!!!

    I can hardly think of a worse choice of actor to play Jack Reacher.

    Dave King

  9. Louise Behiel July 6, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    as others have mentioned, I don’t like Tom Cruise. I don’t get the fascination and continual delight with him. he’s a tiny little man who always plays himself. very disappointing casting.

  10. Susie Lindau (@Susie July 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Profanity? How funny. I am not familiar with the series so I am guessing it is a MAJOR miscasting! Hahaha!
    The trailer didn’t do much for me. Not sure that I would go see it…

  11. Leoda Messick July 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Tom is a hunk still and I am a fan, but as Jack Reacher? Hardly. That would be about as believable as Sheldon off of the big bang theory playing the part. He is not tough, menacing, or big enough to pull it off regardless of his looks or acting skill. I am like the other lady said, I wanted to make new fans with the movie; not make Reacher laughable or just more fluff. I am so disappointed, regardless of the strength of the screen play and script, if the acter can’t live up to millions of people’s minds image of Jack they won’t be happy. Did Lee child have any say in the choice?

  12. Reetta Raitanen July 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Like so many have said, Tom Cruise is not at all how I imagine Jack Reacher and how he is described in the books. But it’s better to have some Reacher movie than none. I’m willing to give the movie a shot and try not to compare it too much to the books. As long as it’s faithful to the sprit Reacher, I’m happy.

  13. shannon esposito July 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Don’t hate me for this, but I’m not a big thriller fan so I never got into Lee Child’s work, though I’m sure he’s amazing if you like that genre. I just wanted to say that no matter who played James Bond his character survives and thrives. The character is always bigger than the actor. So, I don’t think Tom Cruise matters in the long run.

  14. August McLaughlin July 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I’m fine with any talented actor playing leading guys from books, as long as enough time has passed since my reading it. Seldom do the actors and portrayals match the books, IMO. I say, let the best actor win. 😉

  15. Sandra Duvall July 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Well i’m as dissapointed as everyone else with the choice to cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, whatever were people thinking of !! I have banged on and on to anyone who hadn’t read a Reacher book (and who would listen) telling them how fantastic they are and what they are missing. Now i’m thinking that if they go to watch the movie they’ll be wondering ‘what on earth was she going on about’. No i won’t be watching the movie, Reacher has a very special place in my head and after that ludicrous casting that’s were he’ll stay.

    • Jutta Tolbert July 7, 2012 at 12:10 am #

      I agree totally with your comments!

      • kim headley September 14, 2012 at 8:29 am #

        I am in absolute agreement with you on all points. Tom Cruise is the very last actor I would have chosen for Jack Reacher.

    • Sheyl September 14, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      I also have to agree. I can’t stand Cruise and was so sad to see him as Reacher. He is the total opposite of what I have pictured Jack. I won’t go to the movie or buy it. I prefer to stick with the books, which, I have every single one of and the shorts also.

  16. Jutta Tolbert July 7, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    have never agreed with the casting from day one. TC is essentially the same character in every role… cocksure, arrogant, self-absorbed.
    don’t plan to see the movie; not interested in the trailer (won’t watch it either)
    have read each book more than once; have been reading Reacher since Killing Floor in 1994…waiting not-so-patiently every year for the next book. I won’t acknowledge this movie with my money or my time or attention..
    I do, however, feel strongly enough to post my comments whenever I find someone asking what I think! 😉

  17. Alton Cox July 7, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I have read every Jack Reacher book at least once. Reacher is the best protagonist I have ever followed. Better than Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy) and better than Travis McGee (John McDonald). Even, dare I say it, better than Richard Sharpe in the Bernard Cornwell series. Richard Sharpe is British solider in the Napoleonic Wars so the comparison is merely the characters, not the back story. Reacher is a guy who gets involved because of his conscience, but he things done because of his physical attributes. There is just no way to imagine Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Worst casting possible. I will not bother seeing this movie.

  18. big al July 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    i agree with all comments…. tom cruise is no……reacher….. he is to short and not enough muscel….. hope they will change thier minds about cruise… i wont watch it…….

  19. Karen McFarland July 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Well Diane, I would have to say that you struck a cord with your readers. Most have a strong opinion of either Tom Cruise or Jack Reacher played by Tom Cruise. I have not read much Reacher books. And even though the point was brought out about the huge discrepancy about the difference of height, Tom Cruise does have quite the presence on the big screen. It will be interesting to see how the public responds. 🙂

  20. Cindy Carroll July 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    I’m sorry to say I haven’t read a Lee Child book either. But even if I had and loved it I wouldn’t see the movie. To say I don’t like Tom Cruise would be a huge under statement. I refuse to watch any movie he’s in.

  21. Cora Ramos July 8, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    All wrong. Not the same energy at all. Cruise can’t play Jack Reacher. He will play his character but it will never be the older, rough around the edges, big man with gentle heart, set in his ways, one pointed Reacher. Ah, well, we have to adapt since it’s a done deal.

  22. Jim Forgrave July 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    When I saw the trailer with Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher, I was really turned off!!! Especially the part about the car chase … Jack doesn’t own a car … am up to hear with car chase movies!!!! Tom is shorter than most girls so no way can you convince me he can handle 3 bullies in a fight. He even sounds like a wuss! Will not waste my time to go see this movie. Am disappointed that Lee didn’t ask for more of a John Wayne type to play the part.

  23. lisa klemm July 17, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Had to be $$$. TC sells big box office bucks but as you have all sited, does not match Reacher criteria. We’ll have to give Mr. CHILDS the benefit of the doubt in his choice as he has been in the movie business a long time. I am sure he had some incredible actors to pick from & TC topped the list some how. We Reacher fans will have to place our faith in Lee Childs & hope he sees something we don’t. Lets be sure to go see it then voice our honest opinion. Hopefully Mr. CHILDS is looking at this venture through more than the lining of his wallet.

  24. Jim Josey July 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    This is just wrong, I can’t think of any reason or similarities between them other than they both talk English, also the trailer depicts JR as a racing driver something JR is most definetly not, Just ask him – If you dare!!!!

    • Sheyl September 14, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      I have seen favorite books made into movies before and gone to see them only to leave wondering where did that movie come from. Certainly not from the books. It looks like this is another case of a book becoming a movie but the movie doesn’t follow the book at all and just uses the tital and charactor. What a waste. I really liked that book as well as all the Reacher books.

  25. Niki Zeswick July 26, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    This is soooo wrong. Did Lee Childs have any say at all in the casting? Even if they couldn’t come close enough in the build/colouring aspect, there are so many better choices in personality and screen presence. I’m sure I will see the movie out of curiosity, I just hope I won’t picture Tom Cruise every time I read a Reacher book in the future.

  26. Cindy Casey July 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I love Jack Reacher, have been reading him since the beginning. Can’t see Tom Cruise doing him justice.

  27. Virginia August 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Ms. Capri, my compliments on your graceful overview of the TC as Reacher controversy. Since you are in the industry you would have a better idea of what an author deals with when a film is made into a movie. For sure it doesn’t always happen that casting adheres to an original book – but – I think the best books-to-films do, and a real effort is made on the part of the director and producers to cast appropriately (Hunger Games, Narnia, Harry Potter, LOTR, etc.). It seems that Mr. Cruise bought the rights to “One Shot” and instead of respecting the creation of an iconic character, chose to use it as a vehicle to role-play because he could. It’s disrespectful of the reading audience and smacks of shameful hubris, as well as being a terrible lost opportunity to breathe life into Jack Reacher on the big screen. I can only join the other “Reacher-Creatures” telling Paramount with my dollars – NO. Just NO. Trailer is BAD – panders to teenage boys.

    • Diane August 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      I don’t know any “inside baseball” about this, Virginia. All I know is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and money to get a movie made and these days, it’s harder and harder to get the elements to line up. I trust Lee Child to handle Reacher appropriately. After all, he created Reacher and has been living with Reacher for more than seventeen years. It’s only fair to give Cruise a chance, I feel.

      • Paul Bishopp October 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

        Have very tactful of you Diane. Very tricky for you and I fully understand.
        Is it true that Arnold Schwarzenegger is due to play Snow White in a soon to be released film?
        Just as appropriate I believe.
        As for Lee Child actually approving this casting…well if you read his latest book (A Wanted Man) you will note there are even more references to Reacher’s size than usual, so he is probably in the same boat as you.

  28. Phil F. August 9, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    I have just begun reading the reacher series and find myself eager for the next after each reading.. The thought of TC playing Reacher numbs my brain when I conjure up the image of TC sliding into the living room in Risky Business. True, I am not a casting agent however I find it difficult to believe that another more appropriate actor could not be found. It was quite apparent that TC was and still is full of himself and could never stand up to the image and persona of a character such as Reacher. There is always “divine intervention”

  29. Carol M September 14, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I think Tom is all wrong for the part! I’m not a fan of his. Actually, I dislike him! Physically he doesn’t look at all like Reacher and he doesn’t sound like what I think Reacher would sound like. I don’t know what they were thinking to cast him in the role!!! I have no desire to see the movie and have him ruin the picture I have of Reacher in my mind.

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