Author Lee Childs reveals he enjoyed working with Tom Cruise on the two big screen adaptations of his Jack Reacher novels but admits he finds the actor “too short” for the role.
“Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” Child tells BBC Radio Manchester, announcing there won’t be any more movies with the character and will instead focus on a future TV series with a new actor playing the part of the former Army investigator.
In his novels, Reacher is described as 6-foot-5 with “hands the size of dinner plates.” Cruise, however, is 5-foot-7. Fans have complained that the “Mission: Impossible” actor doesn’t match Reacher’s imposing physicality since his casting was announced ahead of the first film in 2011 and Childs agrees.
“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,” Childs explains. “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.”
Though there aren’t any plans to have Reacher make the jump to the small screen just yet, the author says he’s exploring options and looking for fan feedback on casting a new lead.
“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,” he says. “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.”
Even if the role is recast, it’s unclear on whether Cruise will be involved in the TV series after he purchased the rights to 17 of the Jack Reacher stories back in 2011.