Writer Lee Child is putting the feelers out there in TV land for a small screen reboot of his bestselling Jack Reacher novels.

Adapted for the big screen by Mission Impossible Fallout's Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise starred as the ex-Army Major turned relentless investigator in the 2012 movie and its sequel Never Go back. In an interview with The Guardian, Lee Child revealed that the casting of Tom Cruise had proved a continued sore point from fans demanding a more accurate incarnation of the character.

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"I've got tens of thousands of letters saying they didn't like Cruise because he's too small, basically. Part of Reacher's appeal is that he's very intimidating. Even without doing anything, if he walks into a room, people are a little bit uneasy. It was felt that, for all his virtues, Cruise didn't represent that. So the readers were cross from the beginning."

Far be it from me to disagree with Mr. Child, I'm 5ft 11', and if I came face to face with Tom Cruise, I would feel intimidated, and it would have nothing to do with him being a movie star. Be that as it may, the backlash of casting Cruise as Reacher was impossible to ignore with many fans boycotting the franchise entirely.

The first film did a modest $218 million worldwide against a $60 million budget; the sequel cost the same to make yet it didn't fare as well with just $162 million. The odds of Paramount producing any further installments seemed unlikely, and with more than twenty books to adapt, fans were left disappointed.

The Jack Reacher books are a natural fit for the TV format, as is James Patterson's Alex Cross series, but that's an entirely different argument. Amazon recently proved that they could turn a defunct Paramount movie franchise with a protagonist named Jack into a hit TV show. Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan recently launched on Amazon Prime with John Krasinski taking on the role previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. As long as Child can navigate the slightly complicated rights issues as Paramount and Tom Cruise's production outfit currently hold the rights, this could have all the makings of a hit series.

In regards to which appropriate height actor will take on the role in the proposed series, Child has no interest in casting an A-lister.

“That’s the great thing about television. It’s much less star-driven than feature films. So it doesn’t need to be a so-called A-list guy."

Written by
Chris Suffield
Writer

Head writer at jellyfielders.tv. My passion for storytelling has been at the heart of all my work.

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