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Urgent! Who Will Play Jack Reacher?


Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? NOOOOO!

Update: I just jumped on Lee Child’s website and it looks like it’s no rumor.

If you have no idea who Reacher is, please check out this list of  Lee Child Books In Order Of Publication.

Now that you’re back, I have heard a disquieting rumor. They are going to make movies of the Lee Child books. That’s not the disquieting part. This is long overdue.

But I heard that Tom Cruise was in talks for the role. This is…disappointing.

The only way around it is to come up with better ideas for who will play Jack Reacher.

The stats:

  • He is tall (about 6’4″)
  • He is tough
  • He almost always beds a woman by the end of the novel, usually finishing “In a frenzied tangle” or another of Child’s pet phrases for the afterglow
  • Ex Military Policeman (or active, depending on where you’re at in the series)
  • Vagabond–has no residence, buys clothes every two days, rides lots of buses
  • Extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Best description of this yet, “It’s like having a running chainsaw thrown at you”

Now be honest, do any of these things send the diminutive Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the couch in your brain?

So, alternatives. We need big men who can fight believably. My first thought was of Yao Ming, but I heard that he’s from China, and that wouldn’t be faithful to the source material.

Another commenter on the post I linked to suggested Ray Stevenson. I think that’s a good call. He was appropriately tough and crazy in Rome, The Punisher, and Kill The Irishman.

I am also thinking of calling Mr. Child and suggesting my friend Will Williams. He might be overly tattooed and a couple of inches short, but they can work wonders with them computers these days. He’s appropriately muscled and the attitude is about right.

Your turn. Who should play the role? Who should play Jack Reacher?


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  • Vicki Fitzgerald August 9, 2012, 1:50 am

    Having read with interest the suggestions as to who should play Reacher I still feel that David James Elliott would be perfect. He has a presence on screen, has played action roles and is 6’4″ tall. Since JAG he has aged well and could easily fill the role perfectly. I have read all the JR books and think that the choice of TC is a joke. I certainly will not go to see any JR movie starring him as I would never be able to read his books again as my image of JR would be destroyed forever.

    • Josh Hanagarne August 9, 2012, 8:15 am

      Oh that’s great. I loved JAG and I never had any idea what that guy’s name was.

  • micky September 16, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Liam Neeson, Sean Bean, Vin Diesel or Denzel Washington would all make good a better REACHER. The actor need some stoicizm, not “crazy”

  • Anne September 30, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Lord help me…. The WORST possible choice for Jack Reacher is Tom Cruise. Did Lee Child OK this?? Couldn’t have. I will NOT go see that movie because I have been waiting sooo long for one to come out and the image Tom Cruise as Reacher will absolutely ruin any further book I read about Reacher.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 30, 2012, 1:58 pm

      I can’t remember where it was, but I saw Lee Child saying that Cruise was probably the finest actor of his generation, so yes, he’s okay with it, according to my paraphrasing memory. I think Cruise can be a great actor, but wow I think he’s wrong for this role.