Crime fiction lovers say ‘no’ to Cruise as Reacher

“It’s a joke. A bad one,” said Crime Fiction Lover reader Åsa Stöckel last night on Twitter.

And she’s not alone in disapproving of the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, one of the genre’s favourite heroes. “Cruise as Reacher = Balotelli in #manchesterderby: take an early shower, baby,” added John Nardizzi.

Indeed Tom Cruise and Robert Duval were at the controversial match between Manchester City and Manchester United yesterday helping promote the film which was going to be called One Shot, but will be released entitled simply Jack Reacher. It’s playing from 21 December in the US and appears on Boxing Day in the UK.

It’s not personal. Nobody’s saying they hate Tom Cruise’s acting. The trouble is that Lee Child’s novels describe Reacher as being 6-foot-five and weighing over 200lbs. Cruise’s stature might have been more suitable for The Hobbit. Even Crime Fiction Lover readers who are huge fans of Child’s creation were scathing in their comments. “Am huge a Lee Child fan but will definitely NOT be going to see film. Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher – no way!” said Irene Laker.

Rolling Stone magazine have said that, ‘Cruise nails it.’ Other reviewers have criticised the film saying that it rips off Drive (based on the book by James Sallis) and said the Cruise portrayal of Reacher is closer to John Rambo than the rambling man you might envisage reading the books.

Meanwhile the actor himself has pointed out in a Sky News story that size is a characteristic of Jack Reacher, it’s not the character itself. He added that audiences will enjoy the film’s humour. Back in May at CrimeFest in Bristol, Lee Child was very positive about the casting of Tom Cruise despite the obvious physical differences between the actor and the character he portrays.

You can read our review of A Wanted Man, the latest Reacher book by Lee Child, right here. If you do go and watch the film, watch out for Lee Child in it. He plays the duty sergeant who hands Reacher his toothbrush…

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  1. SLC Reply

    I confess to not (yet) having read the books in question, but I do recall similar arguments being made when Cruise was cast in Interview With the Vampire. And yet he turned out to be oddly perfect in the role. I would suggest waiting to see the movie before deciding how he does with it.

  2. Joan Wheeler Reply

    Tom Cruise might just be big enough to fit in Jack Reacher’s pocket. This casting is ridiculous! Cruise is a shrimp — only his ego is large.

  3. Joan Nicholson Reply

    You might notice that all photos of Cruise are shot from low to high. This technique, I suppose, is to try to make the poor boy look taller. Reacher is 6′ 5″ and weighs over 200 lbs. His character is a mountain disguised as a man. He is invincible. Cruise: not so much. Terrible casting. Who is the casting director on this film?

  4. Jan Wheels Reply

    Casting Cruise as Jack Reacher is a bit of a stretch (pardon the pun) wouldn’t you say? Worst casting of the year. This may be the thing that finally takes out this indestructible character.

  5. Sonny Boninsegna Reply

    I had the same initial reaction when I first heard of Cruise’s casting. I have been a Reacher fan from the beginning of the series. I decided to see the movie after reading an essay by Michael Connelly on why Cruise worked in the role. I really enjoyed the film. Cruise does a good job. Other actors might have been better, but it’s still a good movie.

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