Don’t like Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? Well how about Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman, Vince Vaughn, Will Smith or Jamie Foxx? Author Lee Child tells Playboy that those were some of the names that were “interested” at one time or another. And while fans have cried foul that Cruise doesn’t match the physique that the writer laid out for Reacher in his novels, Child is candid about the process of selecting Cruise, and is ultimately thrilled he took the part.
“When you transfer a book to the screen, something’s going to give. It seems to me there are three essential things about Reacher. First, he’s smart. Second, he’s still and quiet yet menacing. Third, he’s huge. It was always likely we were going to lose one of those characteristics. The question was which. For a long time we were fixated on his physique. We had to have a big guy. But we got nowhere,” he explains. “There were no actors big enough who could do even one of the other things. Then it came as an epiphany. Give up the physique and concentrate on Reacher’s smartness and quietness.”
So, was that choice wise? Does it work? Well, the new trailer is here and unfortunately it turns the enigmatic character on the page into your everyday vigilante. And as much as Child wants to sell us on smartness and quietness, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the intimidating physicality of Reacher isn’t here at all, replaced with some pretty corny one-liners. On the plus side is Werner Herzog (who has our ticket sold as the villain) and a pretty great supporting cast including Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and David Oyelowo.
“Jack Reacher” opens on December 21st.