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Why Jack Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Needed Surgery After Filming On The First Season Wrapped

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher Prime Video
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Taking on the mantle of Jack Reacher requires having broad shoulders, both physically and metaphorically. There’s going to be an inordinate amount of scrutiny that comes with being in the role, as the character has an incredibly faithful fanbase that’s protective of how he is portrayed on screen. But when it came to Reacher star Alan Ritchson, who stepped into the role for the first season of the new Amazon Prime Video program, it also meant bearing physical pain on his shoulders that eventually required surgery. 

The numbers have proven that Reacher was a major success for Amazon Prime Video. And the adaptation had bestselling author Lee Child almost in tears by the time he reached the finale. But now we are learning that leading man Alan Ritchson likely was in real tears because of injuries he sustained while filming the program… injuries that led to post-filming surgeries. As Ritchson explained to Variety in a recent interview:

I started working out a little more and stepping into that famous Reacher silhouette. And then the fight training was another level. Reacher’s a heavy yoke to wear, he left me a little wounded. I broke a joint, my AC joint in the shoulder. I had surgery when we wrapped… [And] I tore an oblique in a fight on set. It was rough, but I got through it and I feel better than ever now. Hopefully, we can do many more. I’ll put those scars behind me.

My guess is that when he returns for season two of Reacher, knowing how important he is to the program’s success, Alan Ritchson will have riders in his contract that call for a few more scenes done by stunt doubles, though good luck finding people who are the size and shape of Ritchson. The actor revealed that his physical preparation to look the part involved an insane diet – which he used to sneak in some Popeye’s Fried Chicken sandwiches. But thanks to his training, the actor now knows how to pull off some very dangerous fight moves, should he ever find himself in a bar fight, or facing down some felons in a prison shower.

Season 2 of Reacher will be coming to Amazon Prime Video in the future. Ritchson told us the book that he would like to adapt, and we also picked four possible stories that would make for excellent follow up seasons. So long as they maintain the tone of the original season, Reacher should be in good hands. Because while it’s very difficult to bring that character that Lee Child brought to life on the page to the screen (thanks to him being larger than life in so many formats), this adaptation of the Reacher world definitely is the closest to anything we have ever seen, and likely ever will see again. 

The first season of Reacher currently is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, so make sure you have a subscription and press play on the action series right now.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.