The first Jack Reacher film, starring Tom Cruise in the title role, made a lot of money at the box office. The second one, while not a flop, didn’t perform to Paramount Pictures’ expectations. Fans of the Lee Child books on which the films are based were always uneasy with the casting of Cruise because, in the books, Reacher is described as an incredibly large man. Tom Cruise is 5’7″.
Yesterday, it was announced that, rather than continuing with the film franchise, they would reboot it for a streaming television network. In addition to this announcement, it was confirmed that Cruise would not reprise his role on the new TV show.
Lee Child had this to say in an interview about it with BBC Radio:
“I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun. But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is. The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality.”
Fans of Cruise and defenders of shorter men everywhere quickly clapped back.
Why not just leave it alone. Cruise is Reacher to most of us and I like him in that role. The next thing they'll be talking about changing out John Wick for someone shorter.
— Keith Humphrey (@Keith_Humphrey) November 14, 2018
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 14, 2018
An insult to Short Kings everywhere. Cruise's Reacher had some of the most over-the-top one-liners I've seen in theaters https://t.co/YnAL3NOwya
— Nick Vega (@atNickVega) November 14, 2018
I’ve read every Jack Reacher book and I thought Tom Cruise was good in the role [ducks] https://t.co/3mP1tKEz3u
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) November 14, 2018
Though some had ideas for Cruise’s replacement.
Lee, as an avid and dedicated fan of the Jack Reacher books, this is who I think should play him in your new TV series.
Perfect for the role! pic.twitter.com/0yfwoPsh8h
— Nörby ÁFC 🔴⚪ (@NorbyAFC) November 14, 2018
— Greg Steele (@greggjsteele) November 14, 2018
— Sam Davies (@SamDavi56407145) November 14, 2018
If they’re replacing Tom Cruise for a Reacher reboot, I’ll suggest a surprising replacement: Vince Vaughn. Big enough, can play menacing and show Reachers wit as well.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) November 14, 2018
Lee Child has said he would like readers to suggest who should be the next Jack Reacher. I think someone like you Gerard Butler or Matthew Macfadyen would make fine choices. https://t.co/eNw5wu4jvT
— Jayne Townsend (@JTownsend68) November 14, 2018
I say Pablo Schreiber.
He was Tonto in 13 Hours. Also he was in Orange is the new lack and Den of Theives. pic.twitter.com/nhmBrzMISa
— Shane Woods (@ShaneDWoods) November 15, 2018
And fans identified another obstacle to Cruise continuing in the role.
Because paying Tom for 12 episodes and potentially multiple seasons would eat the entire budget, even for Netflix or Amazon.
— jozian (@jozian) November 15, 2018
You think Cruise is gonna do a tv/streaming show? Reacher has to be recast
— 🌊 🌊 Proud Distributor of Snark🌊 🌊 (@thedivuh) November 15, 2018
I doubt Tom would do a TV series anyway
— Richard Littlewood (@rjlittlewood) November 15, 2018
Our guess is that Cruise, who is one of the most reliable box office stars today, will do just fine without continuing in this franchise.