Jack Reacher is coming to Amazon and the series should be a good fit on the same service as the other Jack, as in Ryan. Amazon announced this week it will be moving forward with a series based on Lee Child’s works (and not the movie franchise), which means some changes will be made to Jack Reacher moving forward, particularly in regards to finding someone who is the right size (aka bigger than Tom Cruise.)
Speaking to a crowd at TCA, Amazon addressed the elephant in the room and spoke out about knowing the readers want someone who emulates the character in the books and not in the big screen version. According to Amazon President Jennifer Salke:
It’s pretty interesting. I spent a lot of time talking to David Ellison about this. We really are determined to find somebody who can embody that character for Lee [Child] and for all of us. We think that is a great thing and that’s what we want to do. So, you may see us take our time really making sure we find that person whether they exist in our purview or they are a new discovery from somewhere. So, we’re going to do an extensive exploration of who could step into those big, big shoes.
So look, the idea is the show hasn’t found the lead yet, so we really can’t throw out any opinions on where Amazon is going with its decision. I will say this: I really liked Tom Cruise’s take on Jack Reacher, particularly in Mission: Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie’s first movie in that franchise. But I wasn’t a fan of Lee Child’s work before that movie came out and I had no preconceived notion of what Reacher was supposed to look like or how he was supposed to behave.
But it’s been very clear in the time since that movie came out that avid fans were not impressed by Tom Cruise’s size in the movie and saw the actor as perhaps a miscast for that particularl character, even with his presence and ability to do cool action sequences. To those fans, Amazon hears you and is promising an actor with hands the size of “dinner plates” and who is well over six feet in height. (He’s 6’5” in the books.)
Even Lee Child has been open about needing the character to change for the small screen version. He previously said the show was going to “try and find the perfect guy,” noting,
And 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. We're rebooting and starting over and we're going to try and find the perfect guy.
He’s also been vocal about Tom Cruise really being too old to play the character, so it seems nearly everyone is aware of the limitations with Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher in the franchise movies. On the bright side, there are plenty of Jack Reacher books the big screen hasn’t brought to life yet, and there are some cool directions a TV series could go.