Outlaw Josey Reacher? What Cruise and Child are Saying

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher on the set of One Shot in Pittsburgh
Whatever you think of Cruise as Reacher, can we agree a 1970 Chevelle SS is awesome?
Tom Cruise is curently on location in Pittsburgh for One Shot, the first Jack Reacher movie, a high-budget blockbuster to hit theaters in February of 2013. 

The actor was recently interviewed by Empire about his approach to the character and some of the Reacher Creatures’ backlash about his casting:


“Firstly, I’m very sensitive to it,” Cruise explained, revealing that Child came to watch his readings. “This is Lee’s book and Lee’s character. Him giving me his blessing is what made me do it. If he hadn’t then I wouldn’t have done it.” […]

“Reacher is such a great character,” he enthused. “He doesn’t have a cell phone, he doesn’t have email. He’s off the grid. He pays for things in cash. People look at things through the prism of the colours of their life, but Jack Reacher does things the way we want to sometimes. In that sense he’s sort of a Dirty Harry, a James Bond, a Josey Wales.”

Addressing the same casting concerns, Reacher’s creator Lee Child—who had many nice words for Cruise’s preparation and portrayal—was the subject of a piece for the Mirror:

[Reacher’s] pretty much indestructible, helped by the fact he’s massive – 6ft 5ins tall, and weighing in at some 250 lbs…

When they recently met, Child told Cruise, who comes in about a foot shorter than Reacher, to just think big. “The thing about Reacher,” says Child, “is that it’s not a question of being big, but thinking big. I could have told Tom he didn’t need to pretend to be a big guy, but just had to be a big guy in his head. Reacher is simply the toughest guy in the room. He’s also quite still and centred.”

That Cruise can give fine performances isn’t a question.  (As far as I’m concerned, the stature thing will either work cinematographically or it won’t. That egg’s broken.) But, think back to Cruise’s recent roles.  His bombastic turn doing the spank-spank dance and air lasso in Tropic Thunder?  What about his hyperkinetic, manic spy in last year’s Knight and Day, and heck, even some conspicuous furniture-bouncing? Would you say that quietly menacing, still, and centered like vintage Clint is how you perceive Tom Cruise?

hat tip: GeekTyrant


  1. Megan Frampton

    Would you say that quietly menacing, still, and centered like vintage Clint is how you perceive Tom Cruise?
    Fuck, no.

  2. Christopher Morgan

    For the sake of Mr. Cruise’s deffense. He did pull off quietly menacing and inteimidating in Collateral, and he did have one of the smoothest gun pulls I’ve seen in a movie in that one.

    But does he have the same gravitas that Clint does? Hell no. Even old Clint in Gran Torino when he makes the finger gun at the thugs is far more intimidating than anything Cruise has done.

  3. pragmatic

    Mr. Child is very experienced with Hollywood, and he’s a pragmatist. When offered the choice of a mega-star for his signature character, he knew that Cruise above the title would get the picture made first of all, and second of all it would open in the maximum number of theaters. The writer has little power in these negotiations; it’s well-known that the director has all the power when it comes to movies. So Child is being smart, and getting his picture made. It’ll be successful. It’ll probably be pretty good, and have a couple sequels. Child really has very little say and perhaps this way he can get the movie version to reflect his vision in other ways (if he has a good relationship with Cruise). It won’t be terrible, and people who haven’t read the book will enjoy the movie. Hollywood is all about making a deal with the devil. In some ways, I’m ready for Lee Child to move on to a new series. I feel he’s been a little bored with the character for the last few books, and I hope he can find a new character to be excited about.

  4. DeMill

    Not since Matthew McConnehey was cast as Dirk Pitt was I this disappointed in the casting of a small man to play a huge storybook character. Tom Cruise’s name will certainly sell tickets. But I can only hope that his diminutive stature doesn’t completely destroy the character we have completely admired through 17 books and counting.

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