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Jack Reacher Author Praises Recasting Of Character For Taller Actor

Jess Hardiman

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Jack Reacher Author Praises Recasting Of Character For Taller Actor

The author behind the Jack Reacher novel series has spoken about recasting the titular character in the new Amazon TV series adaptation, which has seen Tom Cruise step aside to make way for a much taller actor - see him in action in the trailer below:

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Cruise, 59, has previously played Reacher in the 2012 film and its 2016 sequel, both based on the original books by Lee Child, also known by his real name of James Grant. 

However, for the new series, 39-year-old, 6ft 2 star Alan Ritchson will be taking on the former US Army military policeman. 

Credit: Paramount
Credit: Paramount

Speaking to press while promoting Reacher, Child explained how he knew there had been some backlash from fans of the original books after the movies came out, admitting size was ‘important’ to the narrative. 

According to the Metro, he said: “There was criticism from the book fans, because they had built up a very clear image of what Reacher should look like.” 

Child said he found it ‘interesting’ that ‘non-book fans really liked those movies’ as ‘they were kind of convinced by Cruise in that sense’. 

Alan Ritchson in the new Jack Reacher series. Credit: Amazon Prime
Alan Ritchson in the new Jack Reacher series. Credit: Amazon Prime

But he said the format of the multi-episode drama adaptation was a ‘huge thing’ to consider because the ‘actor has to carry the weight throughout eight episodes’. 

Child continued: “It just became a different proposition and I guess the opportunity of thinking alright, we can get a much bigger guy so the book fans are going to be happy, but we’re also focusing on the non-book readers. What do they need? They need just great entertainment, they don’t have the reference already, and so we also had to satisfy them. 

Author Lee Child. Credit: Alamy
Author Lee Child. Credit: Alamy

“I think that the size thing is important to certain parts of the narrative. Reacher has got to scare people and you can do that so much easier with one glance of this huge animal rather than a normal-sized actor.” 

Meanwhile, Ritchson was full of praise for Cruise, saying he had grown up ‘watching and revering’ the ‘legend’. 

Alan Ritchson in the new series. Credit: Amazon Prime
Alan Ritchson in the new series. Credit: Amazon Prime

“If I was ever so lucky to get a stamp of approval from him I could die happy,” Ritchson said. 

“I’d probably quit while I was ahead. I think one season’s enough if I heard that from him. He’s a legend, I should be so lucky." 

He added: “I care deeply about what he and the rest of the people that have been a part of this for a long time think. I want to get this right.” 

Ritchson also spoke about the ‘brilliant minds’ who have worked on the Jack Reacher franchise, saying everyone is ‘feeling good about it so fair’. 

“If Mr Cruise joined in that chorus, I’d be elated," he said. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film, Tom Cruise

Jess Hardiman
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