Saturday, July 16, 2011

That’s a Reach, Alright

In the realm of dumb movie-casting decisions, this has got to rank right up there with the dumbest imaginable: According to Omnimystery News, couch-jumping Scientology fanatic Tom Cruise has been tapped to portray Lee Child’s famously tough series protagonist, Jack Reacher, in a future film adaptation of his 2005 novel, One Shot.

Hmm. Reacher, the U.S. military policeman turned troubleshooting drifter, is described in Child’s novels as 6 feet, 5 inches tall, with a 50-inch chest, and weighing in at something between 210 and 250 pounds. By comparison, Cruise is said to stand just over 5 feet, 7 inches and weigh in at around 150 pounds. He and Reacher aren’t exactly look-alikes, now are they? Furthermore, Reacher is said, in Nothing to Lose (2008), to hold “no religious beliefs” and to be scornful of religious extremists. Which, again, doesn’t exactly recommend Cruise for the role.

Do you think the casting geniuses over at Paramount Pictures had clue one about Child’s best-selling series before they decided that hiring Cruise was their best course of action?

It’s probably too late to replace Cruise with some other actor. But who do you think would do a better job of playing Jack Reacher on the screen? Make any and all nominations in the Comments section of this post.

20 comments:

Vince said...

You have to love Lee Child's comment on the casting: "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way."

A few years back, Viggo Mortenson was pegged to play Reacher. That I would have liked to have seen. My current choice would be Ray Stevenson, from HBO's ROME and the recent movie KILL THE IRISHMAN.

le0pard13 said...

Ray Stevenson would kick Tom Cruise rear up and down the block as Jack Reacher. This has to be one of the most inane casting decisions... like ever. I heard Lee Child somehow was okay with this decision, which I still don't get.

Naomi Johnson said...

I think Cruise's company bought the rights to One Shot a while back. I think that if Tiny Tom doesn't get the lead, this movie doesn't get made. And I'd be okay with that. Lee Child is probably eying a percentage of the gross though.

David Cranmer said...

It does seem to be a done deal.

RJR said...

Triple H from the WWF.

RJR

RJR said...

Or The Rock.

RJR

Craig said...

You need a big guy who looks like an unstoppable force, how about Duane "The Rock" Johnson? Others who might work: Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler or (if he wasn't crazy) Christian Bale.

eviljwinter said...

Hey, look how well Cruise worked in the first Mission: Impossible movie...

Oh, wait.

Iden Pierce Ford said...

The film and television business does not pay any attention to the details of an authors novel. Lee will enjoy the money and readers should not expect to see any resemblance to their hero. As per your previous post it took the tv people 90 years or so to find the right actor to play Sherlock Holmes in Jeremy Brett. Really my advice would be don't bother seeing the movie, leave Reacher to your imagination. Just ask Anne Rice

Viviana said...

Ray Stevenson. No doubt about it.
The thought of Cruise as Reacher makes me sick and I won't go to see the movie.

I think that Cruise ( inferiority complex?) bought himself the role, and payed well for it. Ok. I don't know if Lee could to stop it, but there are at least two reasons -imo- to understand his 'Yes Sir' (who can blame him?).
1) Money.
2) Other money: because a Tom Cruise movie should grant a high/good quality production, and probably be a blockbuster, in theatres and in home video. More fame coming for Reacher, and proabably many new readers for Lee (not that he really needs more).
But these are only speculations.
Viv

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'd vote for Bale. He seems able to play any part although he is better at playing thin.

Barbara said...

It's all money, isn't it? Actually, I don't think TC is such a great actor. I don't know actors well enough to make a sensible suggestion, but I think anyone BUT TC would do. If one were looking for a good actor and forgetting size, how about Leonardo DiCaprio?

Liz said...

And Margaret Rutherford (God love her) was no Jane Marple.

Richard L. Pangburn said...

Such is the magic of Hollywood that he'll appear to fit the part in the movie to those who can watch it without thinking of the actor personally.

When we watch movies, we cannot help but think of the actors, the actor's past roles, etc. When we saw Casablanca, Bogart was Rick but he was also Sam Spade. Peter Lorre was cast in his part with his history in THE MALTESE FALCON in mind--at least according to a source I quoted on my blog a while back.

Some Scientologists are interviewed in Ron Jonson's THE PSYCHOPATH TEST, as they are trying to get an alledged psychopath out of prison, arguing that psychology is bunk and that the man is sane.

It seems the man convinced everyone that he was crazy so as to be put into the mental ward rather than prison. Now, as in Ken Kesey's ONE FLEW OVER THE COOKOO'S NEST, the man is stuck beyond the date he might have been released from prison.

But, to judge by the interviews and other information given by Ronson in the book, it appears that the man really is a psychopath, and perhaps a dangerous one.

I also read Reitman's new book, INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY, which claims to present a balanced view of the religion. But she does Scientology no favors. In her book, Tom Cruise himself comes off as an ignorant pawn in a power game.

I can't say the Jack Reacher novels are favorites of mine anyway. Lee Child is certainly capable of writing good books, but I think he too often dumbs himself down.

gerry said...

Bad casting choice for physical reasons. But your comment regarding beliefs of the character and Cruise's personal belief makes no sense. Example - Anthony Hopkins probably has no desire to eat people even with the best of wine -but did an excellent job as Hannibal Lecter.

Anonymous said...

Worst casting in cinema history.

Thomas Haden Church is the man!!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame because Reacher would make a fascinating screen hero with the right actor in the part. Other posters provided excellent suggestions - esp Viggo Mortenson! A few others that came to mind... David Boreanz, Joaquin Phoenix,Ben Affleck.

Vince said...

I'm now in the awkward position of feeling bad for Tom Cruise. But I like his work. Considering he's best when playing characters with some darkness - especially Magnolia and Collateral - I think he'll bring something to the table as Jack Reacher.

More to the point, it's being lost that One Shot will be written and directed by Academy-Award winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Way of the Gun). I expect him to do right by Lee Child.

earthwind said...

Americans and perhaps the rest of the world too are yearning for a compelling heroic figure. A man who beyond size is of great strength of character, has huge personal integrity and is mightily self dependent. No gadgets or inessential accouterments for Reacher. The world wide appreciation for this protagonist is genuine.
The man who seems right for the role is Ray Stevenson.

zillagirl said...

Why is it none of the posters mention the fact that Reacher is African-American? Reacher is supposed to be intimidating. Tom Cruise is about as intimidating as Nicolas Sarkozy. How about Jeffrey Wright? Much as I like David Boreanaz he's not big enough.

Anyway, it seems he just decided he was going to buy his way into this. I disliked Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt, too. I'll pass on this