Cruise in Control: First Shot of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher

Does he scream 6’5’’ giant to you?
Does he scream 6’5’’ giant to you?

It is perhaps one of the most dubious casting choices Hollywood has recently made. You could say that it has sparked a bit of a debate here at Criminal Element; one that we have even revisited once or twice now. But, be it good, evil, poor, or dead on, Tom Cruise is our Jack Reacher. For now.

Above is the first image of Maverick filling the big man’s shoes. Here’s the set-up for the picture:

Reacher has momentarily escaped view and steps out of the slowly rolling Chevelle to make a quiet, chameleon-like escape while the vehicle drifts away, gathering speed toward that bus in the distance and the Sixth Street Bridge beyond it. It’s a risky calculation, but Reacher thinks he knows where the cops will keep their attention.

I still don’t get the physically imposing vibe from this shot, but I’m sure more are to come. I really hope they don’t bomb on this series because Cruise was too vain to cast the role with someone younger, and, well . . . more Reacher-y.  What do you think? Am I being too hard on Ol’ Tom?


  1. Deborah Lacy

    @Chris – I don’t think you’re being hard on Tom at all. We love Reacher and we deserve the best.

  2. Christopher Morgan

    I just don’t get why the picked this picture. Not only do you have the car there for scale to remind us just how not imposing Cruise is, but you have him making a face that is just a little bit too close to a smirk for my liking. Why not show him being just a little more intimidating. I know Cruise is capable of being intimidating, he did it in Collateral, he just seems hell bent on “nice guy” right now.

  3. Megan Frampton

    My head continues to explode at how horrible this casting is. And this pic does not convince me otherwise.

  4. Di Eats the Elephant

    Tom Cruise is not my favorite actor by a long shot, but his casting as Jack Reacher makes me think that no one in the film industry has read the series. Reacher is so far beyond anything that Cruise has delivered – including his Top Gun performance – that I’m gasping. I guess they couldn’t find a young Han Solo and thought this was close enough – not! A young unknown would have done this one well, much as a relatively unknown blew us away when the sleeper known as Indiana Jones let us all know who Harrison Ford was. That was a true maverick – the loner who really listened to himself, not the laugh-em-up guys Cruise has played where he always has to have an audience, even as a character. Not sure how they’ll pull this one off. Chuck Norris would be a better bet.

  5. MaryC

    Ditto on all the comments!

  6. Terrie Farley Moran

    No! No! No!

  7. Betty Breier

    The worst casting choice in the history of filmaking. Anyone who has read the series should boycott this movie.

  8. Laura K. Curtis

    What people need to understand is that “Hollywood” didn’t cast Tom Cruise in this role. Tom Cruise BOUGHT the rights and cast HIMSELF in the role. Which proves his ego is bigger than he is.

  9. jack 2.0

    love the books, but think about this: Tom Cruise movies sell/appeal to far more fans than Lee Child (22million copies in print and we all have more than 1).

    last Mission Impossible movie – $693million, ~50million people ; Night and Day $262m 0r 20million people.

    Best chance at series of movies is if Cruise can pull it off. Yes not best match but at least stories will be made and $ invested to make them quality product. Better than cheap, low-budget film few attend with unknown actor who matches physical dimensions?

    I will be there on opening day hoping entertaining story packs the punch of books…

  10. DBReynolds

    Yes, Cruise isn’t the best choice in terms of height. But he’s an excellent actor who puts his heart and soul into every role he plays, and I have no doubt he’ll be able to capture Reacher’s intensity. Reacher is more than simply his height, after all. And Cruise has performed in many movies other than the smirky Top Gun. And as someone said above, his movies are very high profile. Reacher will get the audience he deserves.

  11. Willis

    Tom Cruise is [b]not [/b]Jack Reacher. Period.

  12. Heidi Oyres

    I agree Tom Cruise is not Reacher.
    This choice was probably made by someone who hasn’t read any of the Reacher books, or by Tom himself.
    I think Mark Valley, or Jeremy Renner in more character

  13. Linda gallagher

    Tom Cruise is definitely not Jack Reacher!!! Reacher is about 6’5″ and close to 280 pounds. Cruise is maybe 5’6″ and guessing around 165 pounds . A good
    choice would have been Tom Selleck. “big tough guy who coddles to no one”…. Tom just thinks a little too much of himself.

  14. Mary Saputo

    I agree with the majority of opinions; Cruise is not Reacher. But then, who would satisfy us? I’ve recently found from the Janet Evanovich movie that no one would satisfy our “mental image” of who WE believe these characters should be. While Cruise is a much better actor than Kathryn Heigl, even the actors playing Ranger and Morelli weren’t my cup of tea, even though they, too, are better actors. I think it’s probably best to stay away from movie creations of our favorite books because that movie could very well ruin those favorite books for us. While the way Evanovich is writing lately wouldn’t be too much of a loss, Lee Child certainly would be.

  15. penney kolb

    Argh! The Reacher trailer is available on
    I forgot his voice, so not only is Cruise small and slight, but he’s a tenor. Sigh. This is a pass for me.

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