Jack Reacher will live once more. Similar to how Amazon rejuvenated interest in Tom Clancy's famous literary character with their action-drama series, Jack Ryan, the streaming service is hoping to find the same luck with their latest literary adaptation. While Tom Cruise previously became Lee Child's famous character in two blockbuster movies, this reboot will give viewers a chance to spend more time with the popular character outside of the page and hopefully provide a new spin. But with Cruise no longer playing the part, the question is, which actor should become Jack Reacher in this show?
When it comes to famous literary characters, everyone has a different vision in their head of who the character should be. While Tom Cruise ultimately did a commendable job (at least in this writer's opinion) in the lead role, there were some stark differences between Tom Cruise's physicality and what some viewers expected in the role. Namely, Cruise was shorter than Jack Reacher's 6'5" height, which is a key detail that Amazon is keeping in mind in their casting process.
The character is also known for being "smart" and "strong," while also being "an introvert" while also noting that Reacher has "no tedious self-pity." He's also believed to be at least in his late 30s. Therefore, when you keep these details in mind, here are some actors who could play the part of Jack Reacher in Amazon's streaming series. Also, let us know which actor you would like to see play Jack Reacher in this new reboot.
Known for his work on the big and small screen, Joel Kinnaman hasn't quite made it to megastar status just yet, but the actor has proven his reserved talents in some big projects, including (but not limited to) The Killing, House of Cards, Altered Carbon, 2014's RoboCop remake, and several other projects. The Suicide Squad actor is a tall glass of water at 6'2", which doesn't quite reach the 6'5" height intended for the character but it's close enough that studio magic could make it believable. Plus, his cold, yet calculated, demeanor has allowed him to play characters both intellectual and brooding, which would certainly play to the performer's advantage in this title role. He might be a little too busy for the part, but considering that he appeared in the streaming service's limited series, Hanna, the TV actor has established a working relationship with Amazon, one that might pay off for this part.
At 6'5 and well-built with a steely gaze, there's a lot of potential with Joe Manganiello in the title role. While he has transitioned to the big screen on a few occasions, notably with the Magic Mike movies and a brief end credits cameo in Justice League, Manganiello is primarily known for his TV work, most notably True Blood, and he hasn't been attached to a major show since the vampire series left the air. Amazon's Jack Reacher series would give the actor his next major television role, and it would provide him with another opportunity to prove his diverse talents. Like some of the other actors on this list, he's a bit on the older side for a character who is supposed to be in his late 30s, but close enough and Manganiello has pretty much everything else working in his favor to play Jack Reacher.
You might not recognize Kevin Durand by name, but there's a good chance that you're familiar with his work. The character actor has been working on both the big and small screen for an number of years, with a few of his most noteworthy projects being Lost, The Strain, Vikings, Ballers, Robin Hood, X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, and Smokin' Aces, to name a mere few. A tall lad at 6'6", even taller than the part requires, and a well-built actor who has dynamic range, this role would be a great showcase for a performer who has proven himself in a number of smaller roles but has rarely gotten the chance to take the center stage. Certainly since he's not reported to be working on any projects, which seemingly gives him the freedom to play this lead role.
Best known for his work on Justified and Santa Clarita Diet, as well as Hitman, Timothy Olyphant is a very talented actor with accomplishments on the silver screen and the small one, and he could use another big project to prove his well-versed talents. Jack Reacher would serve as a good project for his dependable talents. The 6'0" actor isn't the tallest on this list, but he has the steely gaze and the determined look that could be a good fit for the title role. Plus, the Deadwood star knows how to command a role, being both vulnerable and brooding in the right measure. It would suit him well.
Known for working on the big and small screen in equal measures, Alexander Skarsgard might be the most high profile of the choices found here, but he would still be a solid pick for the role — assuming he can make it work. Skarsgard is better known for his TV work, including True Blood, Generation Kill, and Big Little Lies, though he has starred in some high-profile films too, including The Legend of Tarzan, Melancholia, and the forthcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.
The 6'4" actor has the right height for the part. Also, in the right role, Alexander Skarsgard can seem introverted and unassuming, but in other roles (or sometimes, the same role), the TV-film actor can crank up the menace and prove that he's nobody you want to mess with. That could certainly work towards his favor in the role of Jack Reacher. He's currently attached to The Stand, but if he can make it work, he'd be good here.
These are just a few actors who could stand out in this role. Though there's a good chance that the producers will, perhaps go for an actor who's lesser known, we think these might be good picks for the part — assuming they were available and interested int his intriguing role. Let us know who you would like to see play Jack Reacher in Amazon's new series in the comments below!
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.