Jack Reacher moving to “streaming television, with a completely new actor”

Author Lee Child is hoping to move Jack Reacher from movies to long-form online streaming, with Tom Cruise departing the role in favour of someone more physically intimidating.

Lee Child has listened to the fans of his books, many of whom pointed out that Tom Cruise – who played the role in two big screen features – was significantly smaller than Reacher in terms of height.

In a new interview with BBC Radio Manchester, Child said this about his plans for the character in live action:

“I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun,” Child told the station. 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. So what I’ve decided to do is – there won’t be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead we’re going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long form streaming television, with a completely new actor.

“And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out – participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series. We’re rebooting and starting over and we’re going to try and find the perfect guy.”

“I’ve got tens of thousands of letters saying they didn’t like Cruise because he’s too small, basically,” Child explained to The Guardian, in a similarly-themed interview back in August.

Child’s idea, according to The Guardian’s report, is to dedicate between 10 and 12 hours to each book in the Jack Reacher series. There are currently 23 novels in the saga, and a number of short stories.

As for casting, it sounds like Child isn’t looking for another megastar: “That’s the great thing about television”, he told The Guardian. “It’s much less star-driven than feature films. So it doesn’t need to be a so-called A-list guy.”

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops.