Lee Child doesn’t think Tom Cruise was quite right for his Jack Reacher character.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the novelist says the actor’s days doing action movies should come to an end sooner rather than later.

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“It sounds extremely patronizing but I think it’s good for him. He’s too old for this stuff,” Child says of Cruise. “He’s 57, he needs to move on, transition to being a character actor.”

That said, Cruise has no intention of hanging up his action hat until he is forced to.

“Cruise was reluctant. He had his own investment in it, he was going to argue against it,” Child says. “He could get another 20 years out of it. He has the talent. He’s a terrific guy, very considerate, good fun.”

Child also talks about criticism from fans that Cruise’s small stature didn’t match the character from the novels for the “Jack Reacher” film adaptations.

“Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” the author admits. “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.”

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Child also suggests that the upcoming TV reboot of “Jack Reacher” offers the opportunity to cast the character so he’s more true to the source material.

“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,” he says. “We’re rebooting and starting over and we’re going to try and find the perfect guy.”

Meanwhile, Cruise’s next big action role is in “Top Gun: Maverick”, set for release June 26, 2020.