Between his iconic sprint, death-defying stunt work, and decades of box office successes, Tom Cruise is one of the most well-known action stars working today. But, since the actor is pushing 60, he too is apparently prone to ageism. After making two Jack Reacher films, the author behind the crime thrillers pulled the plug on Cruise starring in any more.
When series author Lee Child was recently asked about his decision to stop Tom Cruise from playing his rogue investigator, here’s what he said:
It sounds extremely patronizing, but I think it’s good for him. He’s too old for this stuff.
Welp, he hit the nail on the head. That does sound patronizing! The best-selling British author thinks he’s doing Tom Cruise somewhat of a favor by barring him from the action franchise. When speaking to The Times of London, Lee Child called him “too old” and also continued with:
He’s 57, he needs to move on, transition to being a character actor. He could get another 20 years out of it. He is talented. He’s a terrific guy, very considerate, good fun.
Lee Child is currently working on an adaptation of Jack Reacher for television on a streaming platform instead of continuing the franchise with Tom Cruise. He previously announced the decision last year, also calling the Mission: Impossible actor too short for the part – considering he’s 5’8 and the character is supposed to be 6’5.
With Tom Cruise at the center of 2012’s Jack Reacher, the project with a $50 million budget was a success with a $218 million worldwide box office haul. However, 2016’s sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back was considered a flop when it made almost half the original’s earnings on double the budget. The sequel also just wasn’t the same quality as the 2012 movie written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.
But Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise would go on to become frequent collaborators, working together on Edge of Tomorrow and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Fallout. Last year, Fallout became the most successful Mission: Impossible movie of all time. The filmmaker and Cruise are teaming up for Mission: Impossible 7 & 8, being shot back-to-back and set for release in summer 2021 and 2022.
Tom Cruise is also returning to his iconic Top Gun roots for a sequel next summer titled Top Gun: Maverick. The younger actors who have been added to the cast have admitted the actor is intimidating to keep up with. Jay Ellis said “I did not run him in a race… he’s just too fast!” while Miles Teller admitted “it is difficult” to be on par with the action star.
Considering Tom Cruise’s success in these franchises, it’s tough for Lee Child to make the case that he’s completely too old to keep contributing to the genre. However, it would be interesting to see him take on more diverse roles moving forward. The actor has previously shown his dramatic acting chops in Rain Man and A Few Good Men.
What do you think about Lee Child’s comments about Tom Cruise being too old for the action genre? Sound off in the comments below!