Reading the Screen: Jack Reacher Casting Rumor a Real Stretch

one-shot-coverAccording to this story at the Hollywood Reporter, Tom Cruise “has an offer in hand” to star as Jack Reacher in the movie adaptation of Lee Child’s One Shot.

With all due respect to Mr Cruise, this certainly seems to be an unusual casting choice. Reacher is six-foot-five, about 250 pounds, and Tom Cruise is, um, not. Reacher is handsome in a battle-scarred, weathered sort of way, and Tom Cruise is, well, Tom Cruise.

I know I’ve said you don’t need a walking behemoth to play Reacher. The actor doesn’t need to be exactly as big as Jack. But shouldn’t he be played by somebody with a similar physical presence?

On the other hand, there’s an article about the casting news at the website of the Guardian. It contains this quote from Lee Child:  “Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way.”

I’m not sure I buy it, but I’ll admit Child makes an interesting point. Cruise has had some success playing an “unstoppable force,” and, if Reacher were considerably shorter and less muscular, I’d say Cruise was the perfect choice. So here’s the question: do you need a six-foot-five actor to play a six-foot-five character?

If you’re interested, you can check out my original post about the Reacher movie, which contains some interesting casting suggestions from readers. It’s right over here.



About the Author:

David Pitt lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to reviewing for Booklist, he writes a monthly column about paperback fiction and nonfiction for the Winnipeg Free Press. He has contributed to The Booklist Reader since 2010.

10 Comments on "Reading the Screen: Jack Reacher Casting Rumor a Real Stretch"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Angela Dubinger says:

    Cruise, ick. Michael Fassbender or Liev Schreiber, I say.

  2. david pitt says:

    It might be helpful to remember that Anthony Hopkins looks about as much like Richard Milhous Nixon as he does Milhouse van Houten, but he played Nixon so well that we forgot about the lack of physical resemblance.

    I’m just sayin’….

  3. Bill says:

    Cruise would be so, so wrong. That little grin of his is so un-Reacher. But who?

  4. david pitt says:

    I still think Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be a good choice.

  5.' Elvis Ferrando says:

    With all due respect to Mr. Cruise and all the other fine actors mentioned, the man who is perfect for Jack Reacher is a much less exposed, but powerful actor named Chance Kelly. He played Godfather in HBO’s “Generation Kill” and has been a busy character man for years. His acting style is real and gritty, and he would be a new face to many, as Reacher should be. He is a man of some mystery and great strength who embodies Reacher as written.
    Please check him out:

  6.' Bob says:

    Chance Kelly is Jack Reacher

  7.' Laura says:

    Chance Kelly is the ONE AND ONLY actor suited to play this role, both in stature and character presence!!! How is Tom cruise going to do it? On Stilts?

  8. david pitt says:

    I just watched Cruise in Valkyrie, and he plays it straight. He barely cracked a smile — well, given he’s playing a German officer who’s planning to assassinate Hitler, there’s not much to smile about — and the grin was nowhere to be seen.

    He’s still physically wrong for Reacher, I think, but the grin might not be an issue.

    And, Elvis and Bob, I agree that Chance Kelly has the right look to play Reacher. I’ve never seen him act, though.

Post a Comment