Is Lee Child selling Tom Cruise short?
The author of the popular “Jack Reacher” novel series now says that Cruise was a reach to portray his behemoth of a hero, according to a report by Uproxx.
“I really enjoyed working with Cruise,” says Child. “He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun. But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is.”
Child had written Reacher as standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 210-250 pounds, and sporting a 50-inch chest. He was described as “one of the largest men … ever seen outside the NFL. He was extremely tall, and extremely broad, and long-armed, and long-legged.”
In his youth, the fictional character was likened to a “bulked-up greyhound.”
Cruise literally didn’t measure up. At 5-foot-7, the actor is nearly a whole foot shorter than the Reacher character.
“The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” Child said.
It only took Child two movies to figure it out, although fans of his 22 Reacher novels balked at the casting of Cruise for the original 2012 film “Jack Reacher,” and then again for the 2016 sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”
The Reacher character is a former military police major with the Army. Like Caine of “Kung Fu” and Dr. David Banner of “The Incredible Hulk” before him, Reacher walks the land and rights wrongs with his fists.